Heading into Thursday’s night game at home against UCLA, Oregon State needed a spark somehow to snap their two-game losing skid.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle tried to switch up his personal look on the sidelines, donning a black shirt with no tie and jacket. He inserted swingman Sean Miller-Moore into the starting line-up, after a recent stretch of improved play, to replace Alfred Hollins. He implored his team to find a way to protect their home court and find some fight in a key Pac-12 tilt.
All of that came to no avail, as UCLA looked to be the more determined and focused group for the better part of forty minutes, eventually holding off a tough Oregon State second-half push, 62-58.
With the defeat, the Wayne Tinkle’s group is now 12-7 overall with a 2-5 mark in Pac-12 play. UCLA moves to 10-9 with the victory, with a 3-3 conference mark.
In the contest, the Beavers hopped out a 6-2 lead, helped by guard Zach Reichle knocking down two three-pointers in the opening three-plus minutes. The early perimeter approach was the story of the first half for the Beavers, as the team connected on four of their eight long-ball shots in the opening frame. However, with half of their points coming from behind the arc, Oregon State fell behind 27-24 at the break to a UCLA squad who was making their stand at the rim.
Through the first twenty minutes, The Bruins held a 14-2 points in the paint advantage and forced the Beavers into a 6-19 overall mark from the field. Ethan Thompson shot an abysmal 1-7 in the opening frame, while Tres Tinkle was held to 5 points (5-5 FT) on an 0-5 shooting performance. UCLA also carried a strong 17-10 rebounding advantage and 8 steals into the break.
The start of the second half looked to more of the same for the Beavers, as the Bruins busted things open with a quick 10-2 run in the first three minutes, playing clearly as the more energetic team. While it would take a Ethan Thompson basket and a Tinkle “and-one” to show any signs of life in the moments, Oregon State then forced a shot clock violation and picked up a key three by Alfred Hollins with 10:42 left in the game to cut UCLA’s lead down to to 42-36. The game headed into the under-eight minute media stoppage with the Bruins up by a slim 43-41 margin.
From there, the next minutes of the game played out just like any do-or-die conference game should have. On the first possession after the media stoppage, Tinkle finished with the hoop and the harm to give Oregon State their first lead since the Beavers led 22-20 in the first half. Then, UCLA guad Prince Ali drove and drew a foul, Beavers big Kylor Kelley drew a post foul, Ali drove again and drew another foul, Oregon State guard Ethan Thompson drew a foul on an inbounds pass, Bruins forward Chris Smith drove an and-one call on a goal-tend and then Kelley drew a foul rebounding a Tinkle miss. Just what the folks at Gill paid to see.
The under-four media stoppage was initiated by you guessed it, another foul called on a Chris Smith drive, which would eventually give UCLA a 50-47 advantage with 3:20 left in the contest. Tinkle sliced the Bruins lead down to one, before Smith nearly brought down the house (even on the road) with a ruthless rim attack at Kylor Kelley. From there, UCLA never relinquished the lead again, playing endlessly through their star talent Chris Smith down the stretch until he fouled out 11.6 seconds to play. Guard Jules Bernard would go on to seal the four-point win at the free-throw line with just 2.5 seconds to play.
- Tres Tinkle - 17 points (9-9 FT), 8 rebounds, 4 assists
- Ethan Thompson - 14 points, 6 rebounds
- Zach Reichle - 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
- Kylor Kelley - 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 blocks
- Chris Smith - 15 points (7-9 FT), 3 rebounds, 3 blocks
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. - 14 points, 4 steals, 2 rebounds
- Jules Bernard - 11 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
- Tyger Campbell - 7 points, 4 assists, 2 steals
Game Notes: Beavers forward Tres Tinkle entered the game with 2,015 points for his career and with his 17 points in the game, he now sits just 3 points behind Steve Johnson (2,035) for the second all-time mark in school history...Tinkle also scored in double-figures for his 84th straight game and has now made his last 33 free-throws consecutively...Despite finishing the night 16-21 from the free-throw stripe, the Bruins did not attempt a shot from the charity stripe until the 10:17 clip in the second half...Ethan Thompson played with his wrist taped throughout the game as he deals with a nagging injury.
Up Next: Oregon State returns to action on Saturday to square off with USC at 2:00 PM PT. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.