Oregon State got off to a quick start led by the calm hand of Gary Payton II and the energy of Drew Eubanks. Payton was aggressive in the early going successfully getting his own shot while Eubanks was attacking the game with fervor and did a lot of good work using his size. They were contested by an early dunk barrage by the Huskies with some early highlights but OSU pulled away early after a Eubanks and-1 to go up 13-6.
Schaftenaar swished a three right after that to extend the lead to 10, but the Huskies were prepared to answer. They started launching a three-point shot flurry led by senior Andrew Andrews. He started with a couple threes which seemed to ignite the Huskies. OSU kept pace with a patient offense and some transition baskets.
UW continued to chip away though with a tough post move, an absurd three, and one more to make it a two point game. OSU continued to look more physical and in control but the Husky offense continued to bang away from deep.
There was an ESPN Outage at 4:51, so some of the game was missed, but UW used defense to take the lead with another freaking 3. OSU answered with a 3 and an and-1 in transition to regain a 5 point lead. The incredibly hot Husky shooting continued but OSU was still able to win it in the paint. That left Oregon State with a four point lead at the half with a fight still to ensue.
After the break it looked a lot like the first half, it opened up with a showtime Husky dunk with a Eubanks slam in return. The half took another change from there though as both teams started to clamp down on defense. Both teams struggled to score and as the physicality ramped up it eventually crossed the threshold that the refs had in mind. There were eight or so fouls within the span of a minute and by the 10 minute mark both teams were in the penalty.
After the foul spree though the game returned to the fast paced affair that UW has been known for this year. OSU pressed a bit much but Washington did as well and the game was incredibly intense with a 68-67 after 8 minutes. It remained an unrelenting torrent of pressure.
It remained a foul fest and much of the late game came down to free throw shooting. UW started it first by missing a pair with the score at 69-69 and Reid responded by returning the favor. Andrews took over though and drained a huge three to put the Huskies up. GPII gave a free throw back next, but Stephen Thompson tied it back up at 72 all.
OSU could have moved ahead from there but had missed free throws from GPII and UW capitalized through Dejounte Murray and Andrews again. Murray had a heck of a game with some terrific finishes in the lane and in transition. The Husky freshman was extremely impressive with his 15 points though Andrews was big time down the stretch with the exception of one moment at the end.
Between some good Husky offense and missed shots from the Beavers UW leaped out to a six point lead and things looked dire. OSU twitter essentially consisted of people damning OSU to never again see the NCAA tourney. Tinkle's crew didn't quit though, they managed to string together some stops and a Eubanks putback got the deficit back down to four. Another stop on defense and Payton had a good look at a three but he couldn't convert it and it turned into an inbounds for the Beavers off of the rebound scrum.
On the next play the Husky defense was fantastic, forcing the Beavers out of every look until Tres Tinkle took a heave with a foot on the three point line which was magical enough to fall and get the lead down to 2 with 20 seconds left.
It was still an uphill climb but Washington guard David Crisp missed one three to keep the game within one possession. The Beavers came back down and scrambled for a shot but were again stymied by superb defense from the Huskies. They tipped the ball out of bounds with 7.8 seconds left after that possession and Lorenzo Romar brought his troops in for a talk before the closing moments of the game.
Regardless of what he said the defense denied the initial look but they fouled Tres Tinkle and he sunk both free throws. On the in-bounds the Huskies got the ball to Andrews and with his shooting all game it seemed certain he would hit both. That assumption was incorrect and he actually missed the second and the ball was tipped out of bounds to OSU with a mere 3.3 seconds left.
That was just enough time. The Huskies allowed Thompson to receive the ball easily in the backcourt, first mistake, he then flew down the court stopping only to launch his desperation three. Which hit. Ball game Beavers.
Against all odds they came through in the end despite their own shortcomings at the free throw line where they shot 19-30. It was UW's best shot, they were playing focused and their 56% FG% was not all defensive breakdowns. The Huskies gave it their all and were only rebuked when they left an opening with their missed free throws. Thompson ran right through that opening and blew it open leaving Beaver fans jubilant once again.