Oregon State wrapped up another frustrating weekend with a 74-71 loss to Arizona State. On Senior Day, and the last home game for Stephen Thompson Jr. and Gligorijie Rackocevic, the Beavers played tough to take back second place in the Pac-12, but couldn’t close the deal. The team falls to 17-11 overall, and 9-7 in the conference.
A Stephen Thompson Jr. three pointer got his senior day started right. Unfortunately, that would be his only three of the game. As Arizona State cracked down on Stevie, it opened up space for his brother Ethan, who hit a pair of threes early in the first period. Kylor Kelley and Rackocevic both got some work done in the key, with Kylor serving up some big dunks in the face of ASU’s big men.
The Beavers couldn’t get much separation on this tough group of Sun Devils. Zylan Cheatham was excellent in the post, and Remy Martin seemed to be able to score from anywhere on the court.
With two minutes left in the period, and the Beavers down one, Tres Tinkle hit a three point jumper to put the Beavers up. ASU turned the ball over, and then sent Tinkle to the line, where he added one more. Kylor Kelley swatted down the next Sun Devil shot, and then found Tres on the fast break, setting up a big dunk. Zach Reichle followed up Tres’s run with a pair of free throws, and the Beavers led by seven at the half, 37-30.
ASU opened the second period hot, with a Zylan Cheatham dunk and a Luguentz Dort three. Five minutes into the half they got the lead back, and we were back to a battle. Tres Tinkle and Luguentz Dort took the focal points for their respective teams, trading threes and layups back and forth.
Arizona State held a slight lead heading into the final minutes, a pair of Tres Tinkle free throws cut the margin down to one. Then, when the Sun Devils needed him the most, Luguentz Dort put the game away, hitting a big three point jumper with less than a minute to go. OSU got the ASU lead down to one again, but had to foul to extend the game, and Dort made his free throws to bury the Beavers. Arizona State won 74-71.
Tres Tinkle led the Beavers in scoring, with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ethan Thompson was the team’s biggest wing threat tonight, with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists, just one assist shy of a triple double. In his final home game, Stephen Thompson Jr. finished with ten points, three rebounds, and an assist.
The Beavers are still in the hunt for a first round bye in the Pac-12 tournament, but it’ll be tough. In their final regular season weekend, they’ll travel to Washington to take on the conference leading Huskies on Wednesday, March 6th, and the less dangerous, but still troublesome, Washington State Cougars on Saturday, March 9th. Check back with Building the Dam for previews of both games.