After a setback loss on the road at Kent State to wrap up their non-conference slate, Oregon State looked like a team who still believes a potential post-season birth in their future on Friday night. And on the first night of league play, the Beavers made their claim that their quasi-turnaround this season has been for real, when they overpowered Colorado in a 76-57 blowout.
The victory brings the Beavers record to 9-4 on the season now and 1-0 overall in Pac-12 play.
Oregon State went into the break with a 32-23 lead, that was helped by a strong collective defensive effort by the Beavers. On the night, Oregon State would tally 9 blocked shots overall and 11 total steals, many of which helped fuel easy transition opportunities for the group. However, according to Beavers guard Stephen Thompson Jr., that was nothing t be surprised by. It was simply just all part of the plan for the Beavers.
"The focus was to keep getting stops so we'd have those transition opportunities,” the junior guard noted after the game.
While defense may have been the focus in the first-half for the Beavers, it was the offensive explosion from Thompson Jr. (and his brother Ethan) in the second half, which really changed the game for Oregon State. Thompson Jr., who would eventually finish with 24 points on the night, scoring 22 of those in the final twenty minutes to open up a still somewhat tight contest.
His brother Ethan Thompson would finish with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals in the contest.
Up-front, the powerful duo of Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks had a hit-or-miss game, as Tinkle poured in 23 points on 9-14 shooting from the field, while also dishing out 6 assists. However, Eubanks struggled to find his rhythm offensively in the contest (7 points), but instead found it at the defensive end, where he tallied a stunning 6 blocked shots.
As for Colorado, the Buffaloes had only player finish in double-digits in scoring, which was freshman Tyler Bey (14 points). Leading scorer McKinley Wright IV and star guard George King were held to a combined 12 points.
Up Next: It’s a quick turnaround for the Beavers, as they’ll host Utah on Sunday afternoon (New Year’s Eve). The game is scheduled for a 3:00 PM PT tip-off and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.