After a disappointing performance at UCLA, the Beavers needed a win over USC. They got one, pulling off the season sweep with a hard fought 67-62 victory. The Beavers are now 17-9 overall, and 9-5 in the conference, tied for second in the Pac-12 with Arizona State.
The first quarter set the tone for the game. The Trojans got the lead first, with Jonah Matthews hitting a layup. Tres Tinkle matched that, and a Stephen Thompson Jr. three gave the Beavers the lead. The Trojans then matched with a three of their own. Neither team could get an edge on the other.
A Stephen Thompson dunk followed up by a Stephen Thompson three extended the Beaver lead to six, but a pair of Bennie Boatwright threes erased that gap. A Shaqquan Arnold jumper gave the Trojans a lead, but a pair of Kylor Kelley jumpers put the Beavers back in front. A Zach Reichle three was enough to get the Beavers a slight edge, 31-27, as the half ended.
Bennie Boatwright hit another three to open the half, getting the Trojans within one. The Beavers responded well, with Tres Tinkle assisting the Thompson brothers, and hitting a layup himself. Zach Reichle hit another big three, and put the Beaver lead at 10, the largest one they’d had so far.
The Trojans responded by going on a big run. Gilgorijie Rackocevic picked a great moment to hit his first three of the season, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Trojans out of the game. Kevin Porter Jr. drained a three, and Jonah Matthews followed that with a layup, and suddenly the Beavers only led by two. A few minutes later, Bennie Boatwright found his way to the post, hitting a layup that tied the game with 4:40 left.
The Trojans briefly took the lead, but a Kylor Kelley dunk got the Beavers back in front. After that, USC kept sending the Beavers to the foul line, and that’s a bad place to put Tres Tinkle and Ethan Thompson. Those two got the Beavers back a nine point lead with foul shots alone. Shaqquan Aaron and Derryck Thornton hit a pair of threes, but it wasn’t enough to get the Trojans back in the game with so little time left. The Beavers pulled off a 67-62 win.
Kylor Kelley and Stephen Thompson Jr. led the Beavers in scorinng, with 15 points each. Kelley also grabbed 5 rebounds, and served up another couple blocks. Thompson was the best three point shooter for the Beavers tonight, hitting 3 out of 7. He also grabbed five rebounds.
Tres Tinkle reached double digits once again, with 14 points. He also led the team in rebounds, with 14, and assists, with 7. Ethan Thompson also reached double figures, with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Next weekend, the Beavers have one of their toughest home stands of the season, taking on the Arizona schools at Gill Coliseum. They’ll host Arizona on Thursday, February 28th, and Arizona State on Sunday, March 3rd.