The Beavers dropped to 0-3 in Pac-12 play, and 4-12 overall as they lost to the Washington State Cougars in Spokane 75-62. The Beavers shot 47.1 percent from the field, and 52.6 from 3pt. land, yet they were 4-13 from the free throw line. The Beavers held a 59-58 advantage with 7:03 left in the game after a Stephen Thompson layup. The Beavers went scoreless for the next five minutes until a JaQuori McLaughlin free throw with 2:00 left. After McLaughlin made 1 of 2 free throws, the Beavers were down 10 points and Washington State’s Malachi Flynn sunk a dagger three that finished the Beavers.
Here are some key aspects from the game.
4-13 From The Free Throw Line
Stephen Thompson was 2 of 5. Eubanks was 0 for 3. Matt Dahlen and Jaquori McLaughlin were both 1 of 2, and Gligorije Rakocevic was 0 for 1. The Beavers left 9 points off the board. In comparison, Washington State was 14-15. Free throws have been a factor in Beaver losses this season, and was a major factor in their loss vs the Cougars. The Beavs need to focus on the free throw line, or else they are going to suffer more frustrating losses in the future.
5 Minutes of Scoreless Basketball
After Stephen Thompson made a layup with 7:03 left in the game to give the Beavers a 59-58 advantage, the Beavers went 5 minutes without scoring a point. Credit the Washington State Defense for making life difficult for the Beavs during that stretch. Turnovers, poor shot selection, missed free throws, and lapses on defense hurt the Beavers during this stretch. Five minutes of scoreless basketball on the road during conference play will not win you too many games, folks. The Beavs played very well for arguably the first 33 minutes of the game. Oregon State does not have the horses this year to get away with playing poorly for stretches of the game. If the Beavers want to enter the win column in Pac-12 play, the Beavers need to play 40 minutes of consistent basketball.
Only Two Bench Points
It is well known that the Beavers are a thin team this season. Even on good days, its likely the Beaver bench will not help the team much in scoring, which is expected from a young, inexperienced team. Ben Kone’s two points were the only points coming from the bench. Gligorije Rakocevic, Tanner Sanders, and Ronnie Stacy were scoreless. If the bench cannot add a lot of points on the scoreboard, they need to figure out other ways to contribute such as playing strong defense, making assists and grabbing boards.
- The Beavers had 4 players score in double figures- Kendall Manuel had a career-high 20 pts (6 three pointers!). Drew Eubanks had 18 pts (Drew was a force down low for most of the game). Stephen Thompson added 13 pts, and JaQuori McLaughlin put up 10 points.
- During the first 33 minutes on the road, the Beavers were arguably playing well enough to win the game.
- The Beavers shot 47.1 percent from the field and 53 percent from 3pt. land. Those are decent numbers on the road, considering Beavers’s road woes in recent years.
- In three defeats in conference play, the Beavers have been competitive.
It has been a rough season so far for Beaver Nation. It was just last March that Beaver Nation celebrated a milestone moment in the glorious history of Beaver Basketball when they returned to the NCAA Tournament. 10 months later, the Beavers find themselves on the bottom of the Pac-12. Graduation, Derrick Bruce’s transfer, Malcolm Duvivier exit, injuries, and suspensions have taken a toll on this team. Washington State is a team trending upwards in Pac-12 play. Josh Hawkinson, Conor Clifford, Ike Iroegbu, and talented Freshman Malakai Flynn are helping the Cougs climb up the Pac-12 standings. Cougar Head Coach Ernie Kent is doing a tremendous job building his program on the Palouse. The Beavers have nothing to be ashamed of by losing to the improved Cougars. Although the record hasn’t shown it, the Beavers are continually improving. The Beavers will receive a boost soon when talented Sophomore Tres Tinkle comes back from injury. Will the Beavs continue to grow, or will they hit the wall?