Oregon State loses a buy game to Portland. The epitome of brutality.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 11, 2020
The epitome of brutality. The defining loss of a spiraling program. The start of the unraveling of a team that was destined to be one of the roughest ever under head coach Wayne Tinkle. No matter what way you look at it, Oregon State’s 87-86 overtime loss at the hands of in-state foe Portland on Thursday at Gill Coliseum might stand out as the game that defined the 2020-2021 Beavers.
Sure, guard Ethan Thompson did his regular thing, continuing to pick up the slack in the absence of forward Alfred Hollins (who is planning to depart the program), as the senior guard tallied 31 points on a strong 9-17 day from the field. But it would be joined only by forward Maurice Calloo’s 18 points (7-12 FG) and Jarod Lucas’ somewhat inefficient 14 points off the bench in terms of double-figure scoring, as Oregon State shot just 30-73 (41.1%) as a group in the contest and were out-rebounded by the Pilots to the tune of a 44-37 margin.
It’s just a matter of where the heck does this group even go from here is the question now.
Giving credit where credit is due, Portland did play a great game to move to 4-1 on the campaign under Terry Porter, anchored by star guard Ahmed Ali, who dropped a team-high 26 points, including this heart-breaking shot in the extra period that would go on to seal the win for the Pilots.
Here’s that @ahmed_2_sick dagger. #GoPilots | #WeArePortland pic.twitter.com/PIiXPvGhJc— Portland Men's Basketball (@PilotHoops) December 11, 2020
Forward Eddie Davis also added 22 points (9-17 FG) and 9 rebounds for Portland, while guard Isiah Dasher ended with 18 points of his own and 3 assists.
Back in February, I wrote about the potential end of the Wayne Tinkle era in Corvallis and a myriad of small misses (like this game) and disappointments have truly scripted the narrative of his tenure and after a defeat like this, you can’t help but begin to wonder about those same ideas once again, even with the implications of the current COVID-19 pandemic lingering over every college athletic department’s razor-thin budget at the moment.
But for now, there’s nothing to do but simply let this one sting for a bit. Hats off to you, Portland.
Up Next: The now 2-3 Beavers will host UT-San Antonio on Wednesday, December 16th at 2:00 PM PT.