Only four Beavers added to the scoring column, losing our 9th straight game to a Division I opponent. The Portland Pilots won the Beavers second and final game of the Dam City Classic, 53-45. JaQuori McLaughlin scored over half of the Beaver’s points, finishing with a career high 23 points.
Wayne Tinkle stuck with the same starting five tonight, including another start by walk-on Matt Dahlen. Stevie Thompson Jr., Kendal Manuel, and JaQuori McLaughlin filled out the backcourt and Drew Eubanks joined Dahlen down low.
Though they only scored 22 points, the Beaver’s first half might actually end up going down as their best half of the season on the offensive end. “Wow 22 points in a half? For the whole team? That’s awful. That can’t be real. How is this our best half?” you may be asking? We only had 3 turnovers (or 4, depending on the box score you look at) and that is by far the most efficient half of basketball the Beavers have had this season.
Another bright spot in the first half before we get to the not-so-good spots: JaQuori McLaughlin is really good at basketball. He’s also only 19 years old, so he’s not good all the time just yet. But in the first half, he had 11 points. He went 3-6 from three, one of which was from Damian Lillard territory.
That being said, the Beavers’ offense looks sort of like a JV high school offense. You know how a JV team has a bunch of very “okay” players because all the really good players are on Varsity? Well, that’s what it feels like to watch us try and score. Every team that we play doubles Drew Eubanks and dares us to shoot threes. And it works, because we can’t shoot. The Beavers went 8-29 from the field in the first half, and a lot of those shots were airballs as the shot clock expired. There’s no flow or spacing or screens being set. It’s a lot of standing around, especially for a team that doesn’t have any scorers or size.
Worst of all, the Beavers were out-rebounded by the Pilots 23 to 13 in the half. Losing the battle on the boards can't be something that Wayne Tinkle tolerates this year. You don’t have to be a good team to get rebounds. It’s a terrible reflection of Oregon State’s attitude and hustle. Rebounding is not just something that one player does, but something that the entire team has to participate in for it to be an effective endeavor. And when the other team gets 10 more rebounds than we do in a half, it exposes everything that’s wrong with the Beavs this year.
For the first 35 minutes of the game, the only players to score on the whole team were JaQuori, Eubanks, and Stevie. So you can probably guess how the second half went for us. Portland, on the other hand, didn’t remain stagnant. They continued to outscore and out-rebound the Beavers, pulling away in the last ten minutes of the game. The Beavs failed to score 50 points for the first time since February of 2015. And Portland almost doubled our rebounding total, snatching 20 more than our 24.
JaQuori led all Beavers with a career high of 23 points, finishing 4-8 from three. Drew Eubanks never quite got it going, in large part due to the Pilots doubling down on him each touch. He finished with only 6 points and 4 rebounds. Stevie Thompson Jr. finished with 12 points, and Kendal Manuel had 4 points. But that’s it. Nobody else even scored.
The Beavers hope to get leading scorer Tres Tinkle back during Pac-12 play, but no timetable has been set as his wrist heals.
The Beavers will, I guess, keep playing this season, and will play our last non-conference game on Wednesday at home against Kent State. And then after that... Well... We gotta play USC and UCLA back to back. It’s all downhill from here really.