Don't let last season fool you. Oregon State isn't that bad, and Oregon isn't that good.
In an early-season Civil War, the Beavers treated their home crowd to a 76-64 victory over their hated rival. How did they do it? Oregon State made the game physical, made the game sloppy, and kept Oregon out of rhythm for much of the night.
Over the last handful of years, in both basketball and football, the Ducks have rightfully earned a reputation for being overly-athletic while the Beavers have played the role of blue-collar grinder.
Tonight, the lunchbox mentality won.
Here are some numbers:
11 - First half points for Stephen Thompson Jr. Oregon State's sharpshooter carried the team in the first half, scoring more than a third of the Beavers' 30 first-half points. And thank goodness that he did, as the other big names on the team—Tres Tinkle, Drew Eubanks, and Ethan Thompson—combined for just 12 first-half points.
17 - Bench points for Oregon in the first half. Going into the break, the Beavers held a one-point advantage in a low-scoring game, which might have been perfectly fine with the Ducks because their starting five managed a dismal 12 combined points through twenty minutes. If it weren't for Paul White scoring 13 points off the bench for the Ducks, Oregon might have found themselves in a deep hole halfway through the game.
15 - Second-half points for Tres Tinkle, giving him 19 for the game. Tinkle has reached double digits in scoring in each of Oregon State's 15 games this year, and shows no signs of stopping. Even when he has a slow half, he has shown an ability to shake it off and come out aggressive in the second half without ever seeming to force bad shots or play outside of himself.
12, 5, 3 - Points, rebounds, and assists for Seth Berger. The graduate transfer from UMass doesn't always show up on the box scores but he's one of the hardest-working players in every game. Berger is not the natural talent that many Division 1 basketball players are, but he is the classic example of effort outweighing talent in many ways. The last couple of games have seen him come alive in new ways though, as he scored the first seven points of the game against Utah on December 31st, and then followed that up with a nice all-around effort tonight against Oregon.
36.2% & 52.8% - Oregon's field goal shooting percentage for the game and Oregon State's field goal shooting percentage for the game. To put this in perspective, consider that the Ducks took 16 more shot attempts than the Beavers but made three fewer shots than Oregon State did. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Oregon State had four starters with at least ten points while Oregon didn't have a single starter score in double digits.
3-12 - Oregon State's overall record against Oregon over the previous fifteen games. The Ducks have held bragging rights for nearly the entire decade, losing to the Beavers just three times in the last seven seasons. If we go back one more year, to the 2009-10 season, we find the last time that Oregon State swept their rival during a single season. With tonight's win, the Beavers have a chance to once more accomplish a season sweep when the teams play again on January 27th.
Oregon State (10-5, 2-1) plays at #14 Arizona (12-3, 2-0) on January 11th.