Two days ago, we watched Oregon State get off to a terrible start against Stanford—a start that proved to be too much for the Beavers to overcome.
Tonight, the opening minutes were a polar opposite. Oregon State got off to a much better start against Pac-12 bottom-feeder California, taking a 10-point lead within the first eight minutes of play, and perhaps making Beaver fans think the team must have figured it out...right? They corrected that little glitch in which they forget how to keep adding points to the scoreboard...right?
Wrong. California came storming back—thanks to yet another Beaver scoring drought that lasted more than six minutes—and Oregon State once again found themselves playing from behind.
The Beavers giveth, and then they taketh away. While they were able to scrape back into the game—even taking the lead with just under seven minutes to play—the feeling that these zero-point spurts have lost them games still remains. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: after tonight's 74-70 loss to California, Oregon State is in complete free fall.
Here are the numbers from the game:
6:18 - Length of a first-half scoreless drought that saw a six-point Oregon State lead turn into a seven-point deficit by the time their next points were scored. It feels like every single game there's a stretch of six to eight minutes where the Beavers flat-out cannot score a point. It's very difficult to win college games if you are waving a white flag for 20 percent of the contest.
66 - Combined points for Oregon State's "big four" of Tres Tinkle, Drew Eubanks, Stephen Thompson Jr., and Ethan Thompson. This team is—at best—a four-man attack. Tonight, all four managed to get into double figures but with Oregon State only scoring 70 points in the entire game that means that the other seven players on the team amassed a whopping total of:
4 - Combined points scored by Seth Berger & the bench. Teams have figured out that Oregon State has NOTHING for depth, and the Beavers are running Tinkle, Eubanks, and the Thompson brothers into the ground trying to compete. There's a reason this team often fades down the stretch, and it likely has something to do with the fact that four players shoulder the entire team's fortunes night in and night out.
19 - Consecutive losses in true road games. Look, if this streak was to be broken this season, this was the game to do it in. California holds the second-worst record in the conference and hasn't looked good at any point this season. Simply put: if Oregon State couldn't get a road win in this one, maybe they should come up with a creative way to avoid traveling anywhere for the remaining games on the schedule, because there's no easier road game left.
Oregon State (11-11, 3-7) next hosts Washington State (9-12, 1-8) on February 8th.