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Oregon State’s Struggles Continue in 74-70 Loss to Cal

The Beavers failed to get by a strong front court defense from the Golden Bears, and continue their losing streak.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at California D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State’s road woes continued in a 74-70 defeat at the hands of the California Golden Bears. The Beavers started the game strong, grabbing an early 10 point lead, but then the Cal defense woke up, and Oregon State’s shots stopped falling. Locking Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks out from scoring opportunities in the paint allowed the Bears to turn that 10 point deficit into an 8 point Cal lead at the half.

The second half of the game degenerated into a slugfest. As the score tightened, fouls began to pile up, and more time was spent in ref huddles and at the free throw line than actually playing the game. Oregon State took 28 shots from the foul line, while the Golden Bears went to the stripe 39 times.

Oregon State battled back to take a brief lead in the last ten minutes of the game, but Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks were never able to find their shots. The Bears regained the lead, and were able to ride their solid free throw shooting into their first victory in 10 games.

Oregon State’s inability to hit shots will be one of the big stories coming out of tonight’s game. Tres Tinkle was only 4 for 12 from the field, but at least managed to go a perfect 10 for 10 on foul shots, finishing with 19 points. Ethan Thompson also had a cold night, shooting 4 for 11 on field goals, with 10 points total.

The lone standout on the Beaver offense was Stephen Thompson Jr., using some clutch shooting to keep the Beavers in the game. Thompson Jr. finished with 24 points, including 3 three pointers.

With the Oregon State starters accumulating fouls at a fast pace in the second half, the Beavers were forced to give their bench more minutes, and their weakness there has never been more apparent. Only 2 points were scored from the bench, a dunk from Gilgorije Rakocevic.

Cal’s defensive game was lead by Kingsley Okoroh. The 7 foot 1 center was an impenetrable wall for much of the game, finishing with 5 blocks. Okoroh managed only one field goal during the game, but being in the center of the fray under the basket allowed him to go 12 for 14 from the foul line, finishing with 14 points.

The Golden Bears top scorer was guard Darius MacNeill. MacNeill was Cal’s primary threat from beyond the arc, going 3-9 on threes. He finished with 16 points and 3 assists.

Where They Stand: California snaps a nine game losing streak. The team is not going to be in any postseason contention, but they’ll take whatever wins they can find at this point. The Golden Bears are now 8-16, and 2-9 in the PAC-12.

Oregon State, meanwhile, continues to struggle. This is the Beavers fourth straight loss. They have not won a road game since March of 2016. The Beavers sit at 11-11 overall, and 3-7 in conference play. The team has been capable of winning nearly every game they’ve played in this season, but incapable of closing them out in clutch moments.

Up Next: California will get back on the road with a trip to the mountain schools, playing Colorado on February 7th, and Utah oh February 10th.

Oregon State returns to Gill Coliseum to take on the Washington schools. Washington State will start the weekend off on Thursday, February 8th, and with the Cougars struggling nearly as much as the Beavers, it will be a good opportunity to break this losing streak. The Beavers will then play the Washington Huskies on Saturday, February 10th.