Going into today’s contest in Tempe, Oregon State had dropped 75 straight road games against ranked opponents. That streak extends to 76, as they have lost to #11 Arizona State in a game they should have won.
After a closely fought first half, in which Oregon State dominated in the paint while Arizona State controlled the back court, the Beavers exploded in the second half behind Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks. With 10 minutes left in the game, the Beavers had a 10 point lead.
Arizona State roared back though, and sloppy play and poor shooting meant Oregon State couldn’t contain them. With another poor showing from the Beaver bench, only 7 points, OSU was forced to rely on their starters, and by the end of the game they were clearly gassed. Oregon State was forced to foul often to slow down the Sun Devils, committing 21 personal fouls, and Arizona State capitalized, hitting 16 free throws over the course of the game.
The loss drops Oregon State to 10-7, with a 2-3 conference record. They have yet to win a road game. Arizona State now sits at 14-3, also with a 2-3 conference record.
Sun Devils guard Shannon Evans II led the comeback, with 22 points and 7 assists, but Arizona State got contributions from starters and non-starters alike. The other main weapon from ASU was guard Kodi Justice, whose 4 threes helped evaporate the Beaver lead. Justice had 14 points total today.
Oregon State’s leading scorer was Stephen Thompson, Jr. with 21 points and 3 assists. Thompson was a reliable shooter even when the Beavers began to fall apart toward the end of the game. Tres Tinkle also had a strong game, garnering another double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. Ethan Thompson and Drew Eubanks each contributed 11 points, with Thompson also adding 7 assists.
Post-Game Thoughts: The Beavers proved they are still a team not ready to take the next step forward to compete in the PAC-12. This game should have been a tremendous, season-altering victory, but Oregon State was forced to slowly watched it slip away. This is a team that can clearly compete with just about any team in the conference, but that does not yet have the fortitude to turn close games into wins. Oregon State returns to Gill next weekend to take on UCLA on Thursday, and USC on Saturday.