For awhile, it looked like the Beavers were turning this season around. After losses to Saint Louis and Texas A&M, it seemed Oregon State was sliding back into mediocrity. A win over a good Kent State team could turn things around.
The Beavers started hot, with Tres Tinkle and Kylor Kelley leading the team to an early 21-7 lead. Things quickly began to disintegrate after that. Jaylin Walker began taking over the game, scoring 13 points in the back of the first half, including three three-point shots. Jalen Avery was also a terror with two three-point shots of his own. By the end of the half, the Beavers had gone from a 14 point lead to a 9 point deficit.
Kelley and Tinkle did everything they could to get the team back in the game. With 8 minutes to go, an Ethan Thompson three cut the Kent State lead to one, 52-51. More Jaylin Walker threes let the Golden Flashes pull away, but some layups from Tres and free throws from Kylor kept things close. With the seconds slipping away, the and the Beavers down three, OSU put the ball in the hands of Stephen Thompson Jr. to tie things up and send the game to OT. Thompson missed, the Beavers fell 66-63.
Thompson was probably the worst person to give the game-tying shot to today. He was 1-16 from the field, and 0-6 from behind the three point line. He only scored three points tonight. This is the worst showing from Stevie we’ve seen in awhile. Hopefully he can turn things around.
Tres Tinkle and Kylor Kelley were the only reason this game was as close as it was. Tinkle had 20 points tonight, along with 7 rebounds and two assists. Kelley added another 16 points. He also had 9 rebounds and 5 blocks. While Kent State got the W, at least they’ll have nightmares about Kylor Kelley’s arm in their faces.
The bench continued to be nearly invisible for Oregon State, contributing 5 points total. The Beavers rode their starting five hard tonight, even when they were under-performing.
The Beavers are off for Christmas, and will be returning to action December 29th against Central Connecticut. Check back with Building the Dam for a preview.