Oregon State extended their winning streak to 3 games with their 62-50 win over Stanford at Maples Pavilion. It was only the 2nd win in the last 8 games against the Cardinal for the Beavers, and more importantly, just their 2nd win in the last 22 trips to The Farm, and their 1st conference road win of the season (and 2nd in the Wayne Tinkle era).
It was a quick start for the Beavers, leaping out to the first five points with some aggressive offense. The ball was flying around to set up an open three and an offensive rebound composed the start. OSU's offense continued to be aggressive, moving the ball around with gusto and cutting with energy. Part of that was the Furd defense but it was a different level of focus than we've seen in recent home games.
An early Beaver turnover threatened to shut that down though, when a Stanford guard got the ball and rushed out on the break with Gary Payton II looking to get the chasedown block but only getting backboard. He had a slight hyperextension of his elbow on the hit and had to come out of the game. A bit of spray was applied however and he returned quickly. The team actually grew the lead while he was on the sideline too with a couple of threes and a Big G hook shot to grab a seven point lead with roughly 13 minutes left in the first half.
Stanford answered from there though and got it back to within two, but Payton returned to push the lead back out to four at the 12 minute timeout. In a strange twist the offense is what kept the Beavers going in this one, they continued to be aggressive until they were briefly baffled by a zone look from the Cardinal. While all this was going on the Beaver defense was struggling. They were unable to communicate properly and it was leaving a man open, but OSU went unpunished. Stanford was unable to make the right pass to take advantage of these mistakes and Oregon State went into the half up by 4 at 33-29.
Oregon State rushed out of the gates and pushed the lead up to eight. From there they were able to maintain with good defense, the miscommunications were solved and the defense was much stronger, especially with the play of Drew Eubanks. He was a force in the paint, filling in from the weak side and erasing shots. A couple Cardinal drives even got scared off just being him intimidating in the lane.
The lead got pushed out to eleven at 44-33 and Oregon State stood posed with the Cardinal at the edge of a cliff and one more three would have knocked them right in. They could not finish their opportunities though, an open three clanged off and the Cardinal kept alive. Both teams continued to trade baskets and it looked like an easy coast to the win.
As per the norm it could not be that simple though as the Beavers allowed Stanford to whittle away the lead and the lead was capped on a Roscoe Allen putback (after he shoved Tres Tinkle out of the way). That brought the lead down to 5 but OSU wouldn't let it shrink down anymore. They still struggled to turn good scoring opportunities into baskets but the defense would not break down any further.
What little offense there was came mostly through GPII who again looked like the best player on the court with a 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. He put in the dagger when he lobbed a deep pass over the full court press of Stanford which was turned in by Tinkle for two and after a missed free throw by the Cardinal it was curtains when TInkle was fouled and put in two to finally put the game out of reach. Tinkle finished with a game high 19 points, and just missed a double double, with a game high 9 rebounds.
It wasn't a perfect job by the Beavers but they pulled out the road win setting up for a Cal team that just decimated the Ducks.Still a good win which may help in the bubble watch for the NCAAs.