USC didn’t dominate Oregon State for a full forty minutes on Saturday night like they should’ve.
No, instead the showdown between the surging Trojans and hit-or-miss Beavers at Gill Coliseum became a back-and-forth affair, which looked to potentially have a positive finish for the hometown squad. That was until, USC opened up the floodgates on head coach Wayne Tinkle’s squad late in the second half, eventually erasing an eight-point Beavers lead en route to a 74-67 victory.
For Oregon State, it was a storyline that has somehow become much too relate-able to the culture of their program. For another night, the Beavers were good, but simply not good enough.
While the focus on this game will (and should) center around the 18-0 second half run made by the Trojans, it was seemingly the small mistakes made along the way by the Beavers that would go on to cost them. The team’s fourteen turnovers and 4-18 shooting performance from the behind the arc left the door ajar just one too many times for USC.
It was only a matter of time before the Trojans took what the Beavers were giving them.
It also didn’t help that four of USC’s scorers found their way into double-figures on the night, led by guard Elijah Stewart (18 points) and freshman forward Jordan Usher (14 points). Point guard Jordan McLaughlin (12 points) and forward Chimezie Metu (12 points) were the other two Trojans to reach the double-digit plateau, while star forward Bennie Boatwright (6 points) struggled to find his rhythm in just 18 minutes of floor time.
As for the Beavers, they were led by the ever-reliable Tres Tinkle (21 points) and Stephen Thompson Jr. (16 points), who combined for 37 of the team’s 67 overall points scored. However, slow nights from Drew Eubanks (4 points) and Ethan Thompson (8 points, 2-8 FG) severely aided USC along the way, especially in the closing moments of the contest. When Oregon State needed a basket most, the wealth of options they usually rely on simply disappeared.
It was just another so close, yet so far away moment for the Beavers.
Where They Stand: With the victory, USC picks up their fourth straight win, bringing their overall record to 15-6 on the season. In Pac-12 play, the Trojans are currently 6-2 and sit just a half-game back of Arizona. For Oregon State, the defeat drops them to 11-8 on the campaign, with a 3-4 mark in conference games.
Up Next: The good news for Oregon State is that they won’t play until Saturday night against a team that they’ve already knocked off in league play. The bad news is that team is Oregon and this time, the showdown is on the road in Eugene at 5 PM PT.