Oregon State Men’s Basketball came out of today’s matchup with St. John’s with a loss, but there are some positives for the Beavers to build on. The first round of the Advocare Invitational saw the Beavs matched up with the Red Storm, who have one of the most dynamic back courts in the nation.
Sophomore guard Marcus LoVett is an explosive ball-handler and scorer. And things got chippy early and often as LoVett and Beaver guard Ronnie Stacy got into a few times, with LoVett receiving a technical foul for throwing the ball at Stacy. LoVett was a steadying force with 18 points, five rebounds, and three steals, on 50 percent shooting from the field. The other half of the St. John’s back court is sophomore Brooklyn-native Shamorie Ponds. Ponds had a rough shooting night, but he imposed his will on the Oregon State defense. He finished 15-for-15 from the free throw line, and hit a tough fade-away jump shot that iced the game.
The Beavers actually went into half time with a 3-point lead. Stephen Thompson Jr. and Ethan Thompson were in a spectacular groove on offense. They went a combined 8-for-15 from the 3-point line. Ethan Thompson showed off an impressive ability to adjust in mid-air for tough finishes that could flourish as he adds strength. The Thompson brothers scored 41 of the Beavers 77 points.
Tres Tinkle finished with an awesome all-around stat line of 14 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, and showed leadership in trying to calm down the young group throughout the game. And Devin Eubanks was one rebound shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.
What did the Beavers in was being forced to play St. John’s tempo in the second half. They shot themselves in the foot with turnovers. Oregon State had 21 turnovers (to St. John’s six turnovers) and head coach Wayne Tinkle will surely emphasize this in the next film session. Every Beavers starter had at least three turnovers, and the Thompson brothers’ combined 10 turnovers takes away from their big performance.
In a game where many expected Oregon State to be run off the floor, they controlled the game throughout. But young teams are prone to late-game collapses, and that is exactly on Thanksgiving Day. But the Beavers showed the ability to hang with high-scoring opponents. They will need to be thankful that they held tough, and make sure not to earnestly work on protecting the ball. They play a another high-scoring team in Loyola Marymount on December 2nd.