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Beavers Hold Off Trojan Comeback, Win 79-74

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Despite missing their best player, the Beavers earn a big win.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

In their second game of Pac-12 play, the Beavers once again built a large lead, only to watch it get whittled away. This time, against the USC Trojans, they were pushed into overtime. The result was the same, however, with some clutch shooting from Stephen Thompson Jr. and some massive blocks from Kylor Kelley sealing the deal for Oregon State, with a 79-74 victory.

Oregon State improves to 2-0 in the Pac-12, and 10-4 overall. With certain other teams in the state failing to win their own overtime games, despite having a big lead, the Beavers are now pretty well situated in the conference.

The game started off as a battle, with the teams swapping the lead back and forth in the early minutes. USC gradually began to pull away, building an 11 point lead around the 10 minute mark.

Then, Oregon State came roaring back. The Beavers went on an 18-0 run to grab the lead and build themselves a cushion. 10 of those points were Stephen Thompson Jr.’s, including two three pointers.

After the first half, the Beavers led 36-31. The second half started strong for Oregon State, with Stevie serving up another three. As the half wore on, USC slowly began eroding OSU’s lead. Bennie Boatwright was a nightmare for the Beavers this game, scoring 37 points, and it was his three point shot that eventually tied the game 64-64.

A Nick Rakocevic layup briefly gave the Trojans the lead with two minutes to go, but the Beavers tied the game with a sick Ethan Thompson dunk. Neither team could score in what was left of regulation, and the game headed to OT.

Bennie Boatwright drew first blood in overtime, getting the Trojans in front early. Oregon State tried to keep pace, but with one minute left in the period, USC had a two point lead. Then, Ethan Thompson hit the absolute clutchest three point shot you’ve ever seen.

The Beavers had the point lead, but the Trojans had the ball, and Kylor Kelley was not about to put up with that. Kevin Porter Jr. put up a shot, and Kelley delivered a massive block, his palm coming down like the hand of God on all the basketball sinners of the world. Stevie Thompson recovered, and the Trojans were forced to foul to try to get the ball back, and the Beavers slowly built their lead back up, getting the win 79-74.

Stephen Thompson Jr. had one of the best night’s of his life. He scored 34 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and served up 5 assists. He was 5 for 11 from behind the three point line, and was easily the Beavers biggest offensive threat in the absence of the injured Tres Tinkle.

Kylor Kelley didn’t light up the scoreboards, but his 7 blocks and overall defensive presence absolutely stuffed the Trojans. USC’s big man Nick Rakocevic had absolute fits trying to get by Kelley.

Up next, the Beavers will host UCLA, who overcame a big deficit take down Oregon in Overtime. That game will be Sunday, January 13th at Gill Coliseum. Tip off is at 7:00 PM PST.