A disjointed late possession by USC and some serious second half moxie from Oregon State helped the Beavers to a two-point victory over USC on Tuesday night, 58-56.
While offense came at a premium to both teams in the clash, head coach Wayne Tinkle’s squad’s ability to turn the first half around from an 8-0 deficit to a 31-23 halftime lead, turned out to be crucial after the Beavers started a dreaded 3-14 from the field.
However, USC’s equally sloppy play in the first twenty minutes, which saw them score just 23 points, their fewest in any half on the year, was aided by their 9-25 shooting display and 8 turnovers. At the break, the Trojans were 0-9 from behind the arc and 5-10 from the charity stripe.
Yet, that didn’t mean they didn’t have a run in them.
USC managed to make this Pac-12 contest a possession game into the final minutes, until big man Rodrigue Andela’s two free-throws for the Beavers at the 1:59 mark became the final points of the outing. The Trojans went cold from then on, becoming careless with the basketball and disorganized on the offensive end.
Andela (6 points) was one seven Oregon State players on the night to score at least 5 points, with guards Ethan Thompson and Jarod Lucas both posting a game-high 13 points.
Forward Roman Silva, a monster impact player off the bench who was limited due to foul trouble, still found a way to chip in 12 points on an efficient 6-7 shooting performance, while Zach Reichle finished with 6 points and a much-needed 6 assists, including the highlight-reel one below.
For USC, the loss was an absolute stunner to a defensive fortress of a team who never looked to really settle into the game. Evan Mobley, the Trojans star freshman, tallied 12 points and 13 boards on a 5-8 shooting outing, but as commentator and sideshow Bill Walton aptly noted, USC seems to not find him on the offensive end for large stretches of the game.
Guard Drew Peterson was the only other player for the Trojans to finish in double-figures, adding 10 points.
With the win, Oregon State is now 7-5 on the season, 3-3 in Pac-12 play and has some wind in their sails heading into Saturday’s meeting with rival Oregon.
As for the Trojans, it’s back to the drawing board for a USC group who moves to 11-3 on the season and 5-2 in league play, a full two games back of their arch foe UCLA for the conference lead.
Up Next: The Beavers travel to square off with rival Oregon on Saturday, January 23rd at 7:30 PM PT. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.