It was the night that head coach Wayne Tinkle was hoping for.
As twelve of the fourteen Oregon State players who took the court on Friday night found their way into the scoring column, led by Stephen Thompson Jr.’s team-high 21 points, the Beavers knocked off Division III Pacific University, 91-69, in the team’s final and only exhibition tune-up before the start of the regular season. Oregon State will now have exactly one week to prepare for their season opener at home against Southern Utah.
While Pacific was clearly an over-matched unit all-night long, the Beavers never looked back from a 51-35 halftime lead, which was aided by the team’s strong advantage on the interior. Oregon State outscored the Boxers in the paint by a stunning 50-14 margin, while also garnering a huge advantage on the boards, 51-38. In addition to that, the Beavers added 8 blocked shots compared to just Pacific’s one swat for the contest.
The match-up was crucial for Oregon State in some regards, as it did mark the first on-court action for forward Tres Tinkle since November 25th of last season against Fresno State. Tinkle, whose health could have a direct correlation to the Beavers’ level of success this season, posted 15 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Tinkle’s front-court partner in Drew Eubanks also chipped in 13 points on 4-9 shooting from the field.
Another pleasant surprise for Oregon State was freshman Ethan Thompson, who played with a surprising veteran-like steadiness in his first collegiate outing. Thompson had a highlight reel of savvy and intelligent plays, en route to scoring 13 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in 23 minutes of court-time. The youngest Thompson was one of just four Beavers players who hit the double-figure plateau in scoring on the night, along with his older brother Stephen, as well as Tinkle and Eubanks.
While it’s hard to put too much stock into exhibition contests like Friday night’s outing against Pacific was, it was a welcome surprise to once again see the Beavers playing with passion, energy and focus, and showing glimpses of the dark-horse contender that they can become in the Pac-12.
Full stats of the contest can be found below.