Oregon State held off California in a unique non-conference opener against a Pac-12 foe and now waltz into Friday’s meeting with Northwest University at 1-0 and ready to set themselves up for the rest of their schedule.
Northwest is an NAIA program out of Kirkland, Washington, who is coming off an 18-12 season that ended in the quarterfinals of the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament to Eastern Oregon. The Eagles are entering their fourth season under head coach Jeff Drinkwine and are tasked with replacing their top three scorers from a season ago, including All-American Hussayn Ford.
So no, on paper, Northwest shouldn’t be anywhere near the task to handle that California was.
From the Beavers perspective, the victory over the Golden Bears showed a much more well-rounded effort, paced by junior Warith Alatishe, a transfer from Nicholls State, who poured in 16 points a 7-10 showing from the field and chipped in 7 boards. Regular stand-out Ethan Thompson added 15 points and a stat-sheet stuffing 7 rebounds and 6 assists, while the trio of sharpshooter Zach Reichle, bench spark-plug Jarod Lucas and newcomer Maurice Calloo combined for 29 points.
And while there’s still a long way to go for Oregon State, the team balance should give this group some momentum going forward with the beginning of their league schedule lurking less than a week away.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle said “this team won’t finish last” after being picked to bring up the rear in the Pac-12 preseason poll and if their first outing was any indication, he might just be right about that prediction.
The game is also the season opener for the Eagles. Tip-off time for Friday’s game is scheduled for 10:00 AM PT and will take place at Gill Coliseum on Oregon State’s campus. Television coverage will be provided by the Pac-12 Networks.