Facing a four point deceit at halftime, it appeared that Oregon State was falling into their old habits once again.
Eastern Kentucky’s star forward, Nick Mayo (15 points), was picking apart the Beavers defense at will, as a versatile 6’ 9”, 240-pound talent that head coach Wayne TInkle and company just simply couldn’t contain. It looked like it was shaping up to be another case of “could’ve been, should’ve been, would’ve been” for Oregon State.
And then the second half happened.
The Beavers quickly erased the Colonels thin mid-way lead, using a 43-point offensive fury in the final twenty minutes of play, to squeak by Eastern Kentucky, 74-62. The victory not only gives Oregon State their first three-game winning streak since February of 2016, but also helps the program tie their overall win total from a season ago.
On the night, the Beavers were led by two ever-reliable pieces in Stephen Thompson Jr. (26 points, 4 assists) and Tres Tinkle (21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals), that spearheaded the team’s offensive attack, especially throughout the second half. Oregon State also got meaning contributions from junior forwards Drew Eubanks (8 points, 5 rebounds) and Gligorije Rakocevic (6 points, 5 rebounds), on what was a slow all-around effort from the rest of the group.
For Eastern Kentucky, the aforementioned Mayo (15 points) and sophomore guard Asante Gist (15 points) both scored a team-high for the contest. Freshman ball-handler Dedric Boyd (12 points) also found his way to pitch in, as no other Colonels’ player would finish with more than 6 points on the night. In the second half, Eastern Kentucky managed just 27 points overall as a team.
The win will bring Oregon State to 5-3 overall on the season, which includes an impressive 4-1 mark on their home-court. Their next game will be upcoming on Saturday, December 9th at 7:00 PM at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a currently win-less squad from the SWAC.
As for the Colonels, they’ll drop to 4-5 overall on the year, as a road trip to in-state foe Northern Kentucky awaits them on Sunday.