Clinging to a one-point lead with 17.8 seconds left on the clock, Oregon State knew what had to be done.
After a back-and-forth contest all-night long, the Beavers needed one last stop on their home-court to put a tough and scrappy Jacksonville State team away for good. And somehow, someway, (with help from a kicked ball, a deflected pass, a blocked shot and a missed jumper), that’s exactly what head coach Wayne Tinkle got from his Beavers group, in what may be looked back upon as a staple victory for this team going forward.
On the night, Oregon State was led once again by guard Stephen Thompson Jr., who poured in 18 points on 6-11 shooting from the field (4-8 3PT), in addition to contributing 5 assists, as well.
The Beavers also got double-digit scoring contributions from forwards Drew Eubanks (13 points) and Tres Tinkle (10 points), as well as reserve guard Kendal Manuel (10 points), who had a breakthrough performance in an extended amount of court-time.
As for the Gamecocks, they were led by guard Malcolm Drumwright, who poured in 20 points on 7-17 performance from the field.
The win pushed Oregon State to 7-3 overall on the season and a 6-1 mark at home, with the last game on a five-game home-stand against Saint Louis, approaching on Saturday. If the Beavers can find their way past the Billikens, the program will have won eight games in December for the first time since the 2015-2016 season, when Oregon State clinched a birth in the NCAA Tournament with a 19-13 overall record.
The Beavers will then round out the non-conference portion of their slate on the road at Kent State, in a return game of one of just five wins for the squad a season ago. The meeting with the Golden Flashes will be the team’s first true road game since February 24th of last season, when they at California in Berkeley.
For Jacksonville State, the Gamecocks will now be 7-3 as well, heading into their own five-game home-stand, which will begin on Saturday against South Carolina-Upstate.