The Beavers welcomed UC Riverside to Corvallis for their season opener. While Riverside can be a dangerous team, having knocked off Cal last year, the Beavers took control of the game in the second half to get Coach Wayne Tinkle his fifth straight season opening victory.
Ethan Thompson got the scoring started for the Beavers this year, with a layup 20 seconds into the game. He added a 3 few minutes later, and the Beavers jumped out to an early 13-3 lead.
Steve Thompson Jr. wasn’t about to be left behind. He added a few layups of his own, and connected with Tres Tinkle on this brilliant Alley-Oop.
The Beavers kept a 10 point lead for most of the first half, but late in the half Riverside cut into the lead while OSU’s shot went cold. Some excellent shooting from Dikymbe Martin cut the lead to just one point, 28-27, at the half.
The Highlanders kept up the pressure in the second half, and the Beavers and Riverside began trading the lead back and forth. Dikymbe Martin continued to be deadly from just about everywhere on the court.
With 15 minutes left to go, the Beavers starting five decided enough was enough, and shut things down. They pressed UC Riverside hard on defense, cooling off their hot shooters, and began lighting up the scoreboard. Once down 35-33, Oregon State went on a 14 point run to take a 47-35 lead.
The Highlanders never recovered from that run. Every time it seemed like Riverside might be able to pick away at the lead, the Beavers would come right back to put the game away. 72-59 was your final from Corvallis.
The big 3 has been the focus of most Oregon State Basketball talk, and they didn’t disappoint tonight. Tres Tinkle led the team in points (19), assists (7), and rebounds (8). This is Tinkle’s 36th straight game hitting double digits in scoring.
Stephen Thompson Jr. added 18 points of his own, along with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. His brother Ethan finished the night with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Gligorije Rakocevic, hereafter referred to as “Big G” so that I won’t misspell his name, looked very good in his first game taking over Drew Eubanks’ old role. Rakocevic had 12 points and 4 rebounds tonight.
Getting production from the bench still seems like it’s going to be a big issue for the Beavers. The bench only contributed 4 points tonight, 2 each from Zach Reichle and Warren Washington. Poor bench production dogged the Beavers all of last season, and it’s something the team needs to get drastically better at.
Player of the Game
I’ll give it to Big G. The loss of Seth Berger and Drew Eubanks led many to worry about how Oregon State would replace their size and physicality. Rakocevic stepped up and proved he can be a big contributor tonight. If he can keep this up all season, he’ll be a huge asset for the team.
The Beavers welcome Wyoming to town on Saturday, November 10th. Tip off is at 12:00 PM PT. Check back for a preview from Building the Dam.