As rapper and social activist YG once said, “Please, please tell me why ya always hatin’.” The Beavs still haven’t won a conference game, dropping to 0-6 in the Pac-12 with a 62 to 46 loss to Stanford. After leading for most of the first half, the Beavs continued to give the haters nothing but reason to hate.
The Beavers even got a huge lift tonight when Reid Travis, Stanford’s best player by far, sat out with a nagging shoulder injury. Drew Eubanks, still nursing his injured leg, played regardless. Big G (Gligorije Rakocevic got the start tonight over walk-on Matt Dahlen (Dahlen started the last 10 games), his first career start.
For the first time in what feels like the whole season, the Beavers came out shooting well, with a field goal percentage hovering in the high 60s and low 70s (this is the most I will sound like a weatherman in this recap I promise) throughout the first half. Not only that, despite being one of the worst outside shooting teams in the conference, the Beavs put together an impressive 3-point performance in the first 20 minutes, with Stevie hitting 3 and Kendal and JaQuori having one each. Despite the hot start to the first half, the Beavs failed to maintain their high 70s as a bit of a low pressure system moved in over the valley, forcing cool air down and causing a 3 minute scoring drought to end the half (last weather thing, I promise).
Oregon State hit only 1 of their last 8 shots in the half. Though some questionable calls were made (almost every 50-50 call went in favor of Stanford), the real Achilles heal of the Beavs down the stretch was, as usual, turnovers and an inability to score. Stanford was able to capitalize on this lapse by scoring consistently and getting 12 points in the paint and 14 points off of turnovers. The Cardinal also hit their free throws which is a very important thing that Oregon State does not do, which is part of why we don’t win.
Stanford closed the half with a 16-6 run, overtaking the Beavers lead for the first time in the game with 12 ticks left on the clock.
Annnnnd then the second half happened. Oregon State opened the second half up going 0-4 from 3, scoring only one point after five minutes of play. Way too quickly, Drew Eubanks’ limping started to become more and more obvious. By about the 10 minute mark, he looked sort of like how a racehorse does when they gotta come down to the track and put it down. I’m really not sure how he played the whole game in so much pain.
For the rest of the second half, Stanford just slowly pulled further and further away with no answer coming from a stagnant Oregon State offense. By the end of the game, the Beavers 70% shooting start had fallen all the way down to the mid-30s. For most of the second half, Stanford led by a margin of about 10 points. Stevie Thompson Jr. led all Beavers with 15 points, the only Beaver in double digits.
Stanford won the battle on the boards and also shot 32 free throws. It sure is hard to beat a team that gets to the line for 32 free throws compared to our 18 times. Stanford’s 11 second chance points added insult to injury.
If Oregon State is going to get a conference win this season, its likely going to have to happen during the next two weeks. A golden opportunity was squandered tonight, and the Beavers will look to take advantage of either Cal, Colorado, or Utah. It only gets tougher from there.