An abysmal first half, missed free throws and Houston’s domination on the offensive glass were too much for the Beavers to overcome as their epic end of season run came to an end. The Cougars out rebounded Oregon State 41-29 and their 19 offensive rebounds were especially damaging. It lead to 15 more field goal attempts for Houston. It’s never fun to end the season with a loss, but Beaver fans everywhere are proud of this team and their second half comeback highlighted the toughnesses the Beavers showed as they continued to prevail as heavy underdogs.
The Beavers found themselves in a deep hole at halftime. Houston doubled up the Beavs (34-17), thanks to a 9-0 run and things looked bleak. A lesser team would have packed it in and celebrated their magical run, but this is no ordinary team. No this Oregon State team doesn’t quit. Wayne Tinkle switched up the defense and a 1-3-1 zone helped tip the scales in the Beavers favor. Tough defense and opportunistic offense saw the Beavers tie the game at 55! Thanks to a Gianni Hunt (off the backboard) three.
A quick Houston three and turnovers down the stretch were rough leading to the eventual 67-61 defeat. As fun as that run was it’s hard not to be disappointed. The Beavers missed nine free throws (11-20) and made a bunch of uncharacteristic mistakes; it really felt like a Final Four berth was in their grasp.
Ethan Thompson was Oregon State’s MVP as they won six consecutive elimination games, but he struggled against Houston and DeJon Jarreau’s impressive on-ball defense. The Beavers bench played well lead by Maurice Calloo (team-high 13 points) and Hunt (7 pts/4 asts). Starters Jarod Lucas, Zach Reichle and Roman Silva were mostly held in check though. Houston is a talented team, but my main takeaway is that the future is bright for Oregon State and Wayne Tinkle. This end of season run is the type of thing most fan bases can only dream of; what a run!