Oregon State and Utah know how to play close games against each other.
Two years ago: Stephen Thompson Jr. got fouled on a half-court shot that allowed him to sink three free throws that put the Beavers on top with a tenth of a second remaining.
Last year: Stephen Thompson Jr. made a twisting layup with a few seconds left that again won the game for Oregon State.
This year: With the Beavers down 66-64 and inbounding under their basket with less than two seconds remaining, Ethan Thompson got called for an out-of-bounds traveling violation that effectively killed any chance of a comeback for Oregon State.
These are the numbers you should know:
10 - First-half points for Drew Eubanks. Also: total points for Drew Eubanks. The inside threat for Oregon State started out hot, making four out of six field goal attempts while also hauling in five rebounds, but those 10 points and five rebounds would be his final totals as he got into quick foul trouble to begin the second half.
33 - Points off three-pointers for Utah, including their first 15 points of the game. The Utes went 11-23 from deep against the Beavers, meaning that half of their 66 points came just from the long ball.
30% - Combined field goal percentage for the trio of Tres Tinkle, Stephen Thompson Jr., and Ethan Thompson. Just two days after those three erupted for 61 combined points against Colorado, they fell back to earth with a combined 28 points on 9-30 shooting from the field.
5 - Straight games between Oregon State and Utah that have been decided by single digits. I guess the takeaway from tonight's two-point loss is that the Beavers kept fighting despite Utah getting out to a hot start and Drew Eubanks being a non-factor in the second half. Oregon State is still completely reliant on their "big four" of Tinkle, Eubanks, and the Thompson brothers but at least they have managed to get three of those four rolling on any given night. I'm not real big on moral victories but: this game happened to be one in which all four struggled, and it was against a decent major conference team, and they still only lost by two after a controversial out-of-bounds turnover.
7 - Years (and counting) since Oregon State last went 2-0 to begin conference play. In the 2010-11 season, the Beavers began their Pac-12 schedule with wins over Arizona State and Arizona. Oregon State couldn't maintain the strong start though, and would finish the year with a conference record of 5-13. I think the Beavers finish this season's conference play better than 5-13, but after this loss they will have to do it without the benefit of a 2-0 start.
Oregon State (9-5, 1-1) hosts Oregon (10-4, 0-1) on January 5th.