Oregon State was handed their third straight road loss to start the season Thursday night. Mississippi State shot 57.9% from three point land and forced 21 turnovers (17 steals) partly explaining why Oregon State was never in striking distance. On the bright side Stevie Thompson Jr returned from his six-game absence and scored 20 points, on 9-for-16 shooting from the field.
The Beavers started the game off slowly and looked disjointed on offense. After back-to-back three pointers from Mississippi State, Wayne Tinkle called a quick timeout and the Beavers found themselves down 10-3. Things did not get better for Oregon State after that though, Quinndary Weatherspoon the Mississippi State’s top scorer who mysteriously returned from a season-ending wrist injury, torched the Oregon State defense all night long. He was 4-for-5 from the perimeter and finished with a game-high 21 points.
Oregon State could not figure out how to stop Weatherspoon and company. And on offense they looked completely lost without Tres Tinkle or without an obvious size advantage like they held in their latest win against Southern Oregon. The Beavers found themselves down 45-19 at the half.
In the second half Oregon State handled themselves much better and showed some grit on defense. But, ultimately they had dug themselves a hole that would have been impossible to climb out of. The Beavers outscored the Bulldogs 38-29 in the second half, but that still added up to a 17-point loss.
Oregon State has struggled immensely on offense to start the season. Turnovers have been particularly horrendous. Everyone knew the Beavers would be a young team this year, but injuries have exacerbated the problems. Oregon State’s 21 turnovers tonight weren’t even a season-high. Ronnie Stacy, Jaquori McLaughlin, Drew Eubanks and Stephen Thompson Jr. all had 4 turnovers each (16 combined). At the same time these four players contributed just 6 assists for a dreadful 6:16 assist-to-turnover ratio. As a team, the Beavers ended up with 8 assists to 21 turnovers (8:21). Wayne Tinkle and his staff will need to figure out how to keep this offense productive without Tres Tinkle, Ben Kone and a still rounding into form Stevie Thompson Jr.
Speaking of Stevie Thompson Jr. he was supposed to be on a minutes restriction, but still wound up playing a whopping 30 minutes (3rd most on the team). Clearly, his offense was needed, but I’m sure he will be sore tomorrow.
Oregon State will need to regroup and focus for their next road game. They are back in action this Saturday at 4 pm against Charlotte.