Oregon State had the 11th-ranked team in the country against the ropes. Only a couple of days after making #17 Arizona nervous, the Beavers appeared to be on their way to a huge upset victory when Ethan Thompson hit a three-pointer that put the visiting team up by 13 points with 11:32 to play.
Then—as has happened on a couple of occasions this season—Oregon State couldn't put the finishing touches on their opponent and a late lead slipped away. The Beavers would end up losing 77-75 as Tres Tinkle's game-winning three-point attempt missed.
Numbers from the game:
+20 - Advantage in scoring off the bench for Arizona State. The Sun Devils had 27 points scored by bench players while the Beavers had just seven bench points. All season long Oregon State has dealt with limited depth, but in games such as this one it becomes painfully obvious that the team goes only as far as Tres Tinkle, Drew Eubanks, and Stevie Thompson Jr. can carry them.
+10 - Advantage in points scored from free throws for Arizona State. As was the case against Arizona, Oregon State made it to the line far fewer times than their opponent. Maybe it's a case of being on the road or maybe it's a case of the Beavers shooting more jump shots and driving less than other teams, but when Arizona State takes 22 free throw attempts (making 16) to Oregon State's nine attempts (making six) it's a tough hole to dig out from.
22 - Points scored in the second half by Shannon Evans II, after scoring zero in the first half. Evans was the catalyst for Arizona State's comeback, as he made 7-10 field goal attempts and added four rebounds and four assists in the half alone.
2:24 - Minutes and seconds that Oregon State went scoreless down the stretch to effectively give the game away. At the 3:31 mark, Stephen Thompson Jr. made a three-pointer that put the Beavers up 68-65. Arizona State would then score the next 10 points in the game to take a 75-68 lead, a run that wasn't broken until the 1:07 mark, when Stephen Thompson Jr. made a layup to make the score 75-70.
+20, +10, 22, 2:24 - Yes, there were some good numbers for the Beavers. Stephen Thompson Jr. played a great game. Tres Tinkle was his usual productive self. The team, for the most part, played solid defense. But the only numbers that matter in this game are those four.
The Beavers were outscored by 20 points off the bench. They were outscored by 10 points at the free throw line. They gave up 22 points in the second half to an opposing starter. They went ice cold for 2 minutes and 24 seconds to close out the game.
And they lost by two points.
Oregon State (10-7, 2-3) hosts UCLA (13-5, 4-2) on January 18th.