At the end of the first half, the Beavers held a 29-27 advantage over the fifth ranked Arizona Wildcats. The Beavers shot 50% from the field in the first half. In addition, the Beaver defense played helped limit Arizona’s shooting percentage to 34.6% from the field in the first half. Beaver Nation was getting flashbacks to January of 2015, the last time Arizona (then No. 7) entered Gill Coliseum (Beavers won 58-56). However, Arizona showed the nationally televised audience just why they are the fifth ranked team in the nation, as they outscored the Beavers 44-25 in the second half, Arizona was able to cruise to a 71-54 victory. Arizona shot 53.8 % from the field in the second half. Sophomore Guard Allonzo Trier, who was suspended for most of the season (tested positive for PED), led Arizona in scoring with 18pts. Stephen Thompson Jr. led the Beavers with 16 pts.
Here are some takeaways for the game.
The First Half Was Phenominal
The Beavers played tremendous in the first half, especially on defense. The Beavers played with energy and confidence as they forced Arizona to shoot difficult shots, and forced turnovers. It was Tinkle Ball 101 as the Beavers were controlling the game with their defense, which translated into solid offense. When Coach Wayne Tinkle shows this team film of this game, he will likely point out how successful this team can be when they are focused and playing hard-nosed defense.
Lack of Depth
The lack of depth will continue to plague the Beavers for the rest of the season. Credit Arizona for making life miserable for the young Beaver team in the second half. The Beavers continue to get outscored in the second half because of their short bench, which guys are getting worn down at the end.
Gligorije Rakocevic had a great game scoring 12 pts and shooting 5-9 from the field. The Sophomore from Montenegro played strong down low. Big G played well last week at the mountain schools. Big G has tons of potential as he showed Beaver Nation tonight what he can be capable of.
Need More JaQuori
JaQuori McLaughlin will have an amazing career at Oregon State. He has potential to be an all Pac-12 player in the future. However, he needs to score more than 4 points to help the Offense. JaQuori is too talented to be limited to 4 points. The injuries, transfers, and limited depth has forced JaQuori to play a large amount of minutes. He has had to adjust to the college game at an accelerated speed. He has tremendous upside, and he will get better, especially with improved pieces around him.
Although the record does not show it, the Beavers are slowly improving, which bodes well for next season and beyond. Wayne Tinkle is doing a great job getting his team to play hard, especially with all the obstacles the team has dealt with. The Beavers need to move on, learn from this loss, and keep playing hard in order to improve. Will the Beavers be able to break through in the Pac-12 win column before season’s end?