Oregon State dominated Oregon Sunday night, leading wire to wire on their way to a 70-57 win in the first basketball battle of the season in the Civil War, and the 345th meeting in the most-contested rivalry in college basketball.
In what was also the first game of the Pac-12 Conference campaign for both teams, as well as the first game of the new year, the Beavers bolted to a 9-3 lead by the first media timeout, and after the Ducks had drawn back within 11-10, Oregon State went on a 14-4 run, and the game was never really close the rest of the way.
It wasn't that Oregon State was shooting well, they really didn't all night, but Oregon was rarely able to penetrate, and got very little going inside against the Beaver defense. That, and a big game off the bench by freshman Tres Tinkle, were the Duck's undoing.
Tinkle hit back to back baskets to open the first double digit lead of the game at the 8:50 mark, putting Oregon State up 25-14. This while Oregon was struggling offensively, going scoreless for over 5 minutes.
Tinkle's 2 baskets were also the beginning of a 10-0 Oregon State run that opened the largest lead of the first half, a 17 point Beaver lead, on Langston Morris-Walker's basket that made it 31-14.
Oregon would fight back with a 5-1 run, but a pair of Tinkle free throws sent Oregon State up with a 34-19 lead at halftime.
And the Beavers did it without any points from Gary Payton II, who was held scoreless in a half for the first time this season. They did it by limiting the Ducks to the fewest points by any opponent in the first half so far this season, and holding Oregon's Elgin Cook to just 2 points.
Payton did have 4 assists, but the Beavers also got no scoring from Malcolm Duvivier in the first half. Or at any point in the game, for that matter.
Morris-Walker, above, came through with 11 first half points though. And it was ST II (Stephen Thompson Jr.), not GP II, that knocked down a pair of key 3s that keyed the mid-half break-out by the Beavers.
10 Oregon State offensive rebounds also helped, and it was quite a surprise, coming from the team with the worst rebounding margin in the conference in the pre-season.
Olaf Schaftenaar opened the second half with his only 3 point basket of the game, which opened the largest lead of the game, 18.
Dillon Brooks and Casey Benson led an Oregon rally, and the Ducks did cut the deficit in half, pulling within 40-31 on a Benson putback..
But back to back Sportscenter highlight dunks by Payton and then Drew Eubanks, below, re-energized the Beavers and the Gill Coliseum crowd with just under 13 minutes to go.
The game was a sellout, the first for any event at Gill Coliseum since the Civil War game 3 years ago, and only the second in 13 years, but the building wasn't full, a result of icy roads throughout the area all day. Still, there were probably over 8 thousand in attendance, and the early advantage Oregon State had staked out followed by the highlight dunks got the crowd going to the point of making their own difference in the game.
Tinkle did turn the ball over on a charging foul, but Eubanks cleaned up the problem with a blocked shot on the other end to keep Oregon from getting any momentum going, and Tinkle did a good job of learning from the exchange. Tinkle would subsequently draw a couple of charges on Oregon down the stretch.
Oregon finally pulled back within single digits coming out of a time out with 4 minutes to go, on a pair of free throws by Tyler Dorsey that pulled the Ducks within 60-52. But Tinkle and Payton combined to answer with a 7-0 run to put the game out of reach.
Tinkle, above, finished with a game high 19 points, and 6 rebounds, and Schaftenaar added 13, and a game high 8 rebounds. Payton rebounded from being shut out in the first half with a dozen points, to go with his 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
Morris-Walker finished with 12 as well, cooling off after the break, and Thompson also wound up in double digits, with 10 points for Oregon State.
Chris Boucher led Oregon, with 14 points, including making 3 of 6 3s, with 11 of his points coming in the second half. He was followed by Brooks, but with only 11. Dorsey was the only other Duck in double digits, with 10, and Cook was held in check all night, winding up with just 6 points.
In a very odd stat, both teams were led in scoring by someone off the bench.
Schaftenaar's efforts were one of the big keys to the game, as most of his points came on strong inside moves. Most known for his 3 point jumpers, he took only 2 on the night.
While the Ducks struggled inside offensively, Oregon Coach Dana Altman's game plan, besides shutting down Payton, for a half at least, also did a good job of controlling Eubanks, holding him to 4 points and 5 rebounds. With Jarmal Reid watching his last Civil War at Gill from the end of the bench, his left foot in a brace after suffering a sprained ankle in practice yesterday, Schaftenaar's work inside on both ends of the floor were a major factor, and one of the last things Altman was probably expecting.
Oregon State wound up shooting only 44% from the field, but held Oregon to only 36% shooting, and just 28% from 3 point range.
Controlling the game in the paint also resulted in Oregon State getting to the free throw line 24 times, from which the Beavers made 17 of them. Meanwhile, Oregon only got to the line 15 times, making 12.
At the same time, Oregon State also kept ordinarily high-flying Oregon from scoring a single fast break basket.
"We did defend well," Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle said. "We gave up too many easy ones in the second half, but to control of the game like that, I am proud of the leadership by our veterans, and with the way our freshmen played through some mistakes. We got it done."
"You're not going to shoot it well every night, so you've got to find a way to make up for it," Altman added. "We did not do that tonight. And they just killed us on the offensive glass in the first half."
The win snapped a 4 game Oregon winning streak in the Civil War, which the Ducks have been dominating of late, having won 7 of the last 8, and 9 of the last 11 battles. Last year's 65-62 win at Gill in the regular season finale is one of only 3 games Coach Tinkle has lost at Gill in now 24 games.
The Beaver victory also extended what has turned out to be one of the worst weekends the Ducks have had in some time, coming less than 24 hours after TCU overcame a 31-0 halftime deficit to upset Oregon 47-41 in triple overtime in the Alamo Bowl.
It was definitely better to be a Beaver today!
Oregon State improved to 10-2 for the season, and will host Stanford late Wednesday night, in a game that will start after 8 PM for ESPNU coverage.
Oregon dropped to 11-3, and will host California at 6 PM Wednesday, on ESPN2.
(Photos via SBN Assets, OSU)