Drew Eubanks helped the Beavers leap out to an early lead with an alley-oop from GPII, but Colorado looked like the better team early. The Buffalo defense was tough to break and it led to long offensive possessions that resulted in contested shots getting fired against the clock.
Tres Tinkle entered the game and immediately scored a nice basket after some nifty moves to get in good position. From there the Beaver offense continued to be stale though, a basket here, a basket there, but the reason the Beavers stayed in the game was the inability of Colorado to make their open shots. The Buffs eventually found the range though and rang up a couple three-balls to take a 20-12 lead after eight minutes.
OSU was turn up the defense and make a run to keep themselves in the game though, and most of the scoring came through Payton. They got it back to a 3-point game at 20 all, but a three point shot by Josh Scott put Colorado back on top. That was an indicator of how the Buffaloes would go after the Beaver defense, they were stretching the 2-3 zone of OSU with drives and quick passes, giving lots of good opportunities to the Buffs.
Colorado continued to look like the better team, but OSU managed to keep it a close game and drew within four at the half thanks to a Stephen Thompson (lucky) shot at the end of the half, bringing the score to a 25-29 Buffalo lead.
In the second half Colorado came out and attacked the interior of the Beaver defense. With that occupying a defender inside it opened the door for the Buffaloes to start banging the offensive boards. Similar to the Stanford game it allowed too many extra possessions, especially with the defense scrambling to reset. They ran the lead out to seven points at one point, but the Beavers kept battling to keep it within that deficit. GPII wouldn't let the game get out of control either, pounding down the court in transition in draining threes with a hand in his face.
The Beavers managed to pull get it back to a 1 point deficit just before 12 minutes and Payton took the lead with a beautiful drive to take the lead at the 12 minute break. He was easily the best player on the court, good defending, cleaning up the boards, and was all over the court on offense.
A couple ticky tack fouls were called on both teams, but the Beavers failed to take advantage of their free throws and the deficit grew again. The greater issue started after that with transition defense. Colorado was pushing the ball after every miss and were able to run their offense against scrambled Beaver defenses. That led to more offensive rebounds as well and the Buffalo lead ballooned after double digits after a couple Colorado free throws.
Stephen Thompson drained a three to force a timeout at 5 minutes, but Colorado came down and answered bumping the lead back to double digits. OSU continued to fight and claw, but they were beaten physically and Colorado was able to overpower the Beavs. It led to a 71-54 final on a night when the Beavers were absolutely outplayed.
Payton finished with a career high and game high 26 points, and a season best and game high 15 rebounds, but Thompson's 10 points was the only other Beaver total even close to double digits.
Meanwhile, both Josh Scott (25 points and 12 rebounds) and Wesley Gordon (12 points and 14 boards) posted double doubles for Colorado, and Josh Fortune added 12 more points. Gordon also had 6 blocked shots, and Scott 3.
Some sad stats of the night for Oregon State:
- 29.5% FG Shooting, 3-14 3 point shooting.
- Outrebounded 33-48
- 3 assists
- 11 steals