The Oregon State Men’s Basketball team were mere inches away from taking their rivals, the Oregon Ducks, to overtime Monday evening.
The final score was 78-76 after Warith Alatishe, a senior forward for the Beavers, missed a layup with one second left in the game that would’ve tied it.
When asked what stood out to him on the stat sheet, OSU Head Coach Wayne Tinkle replied, “The disparity in rebounds. Dana (Altman) complimented us in the offseason with our physicality on the boards especially down the stretch last year, and I told our guys multiple times over the last several days that was going to be a big focus of theirs and that we needed to step up, nut up a little bit and be men on the glass.”
OSU played from behind most of the game, never leading after 1:38 left in the first half when they were ahead 34-33. The Beavers’ biggest lead was four with 18:08 left in the first half; Oregon’s was nine with nine minutes left in the second half. There were only seven lead changes in the game, with none happening in the second half. In total there were 12 ties, with five of those coming in the final 4:32 of the game.
The Ducks outrebounded the Beavers 39-29 with UO having 17 offensive rebounds compared to six for OSU. Oregon State did outscore University Oregon in second-chance points, with the Beavs having 10 and the Ducks having eight. Both teams were relatively even across turnovers (OSU 8-5 Oregon), points in the paint (38-36), fast-break points (9-10), and points from the bench (21-23).
“I mean when you play defense and you’re able to make them miss like that, a team like this who you know really shoots it, when you don’t come down with that rebound defensively, it’s a little demoralizing because you know you just played defense for 30 seconds. So yeah, it blows for sure,” said senior center Roman Silva when asked about Oregon’s rebounding advantage.
Leading the Beavers was Alatishe with 16 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. He also had four fouls and two turnovers in his 32 minutes of game time. Junior Dashawn Davis had the most minutes with 33:52 and 14 points, a team-high five assists, and three rebounds. He also went 2-2 in free throws and had two turnovers with three fouls.
The Beavers shot dreadfully from behind the three-point arc, going 2-16 with Dexter Akanno and Glenn Taylor Jr. each making one. OSU did make up for their abysmal long-range shooting by going 12-14 from the free-throw line. With everyone that made one going 100% and one player going 0-2 from the line.
“For us to have a chance on the last possession as poorly as we shot it and as poorly as we rebounded it says a lot about a lot of the other things we did, really,” Tinkle said in his post-game press conference.
Normal scoring leader, junior Jarod Lucas, had a quiet night going 4-14 from the field with eight total points, two assists, and one rebound and a block. He went 0-8 from beyond the arc and had one personal foul.
Also contributing for the Beavers were Silva with 12 points, nine rebounds, and one steal and a block. He also shot 100% from the field (5-5) and the free-throw line (2-2). Xzavier Malone-Key had eight points and one rebound. Glenn Taylor Jr. had seven points, three assists, and two rebounds. Maurice Calloo had four points and one steal, and a rebound. Ahmad Rand had four points, two rebounds, and one steal. Dexter Akanno also added three points.
Tinkle spoke pridefully of his freshman forward from Arizona Compass Prep in Las Vegas, Glenn Taylor Jr. “He does it the right way, he comes and brings it every day. He’ll tell you he made some mistakes defensively but he’s doing it the right way. He’s trying to play the way we ask him to play day in and day out.”
This was the first game for OSU since Dec. 30, when the Beavs defeated Utah 88-76. The scheduled Jan. 3 game against Sacramento State was postponed due to COVID health and safety protocols within OSU’s program. The game against UO was originally scheduled to be played on Jan. 8. But both Oregon and OSU had COVID problems within their respective programs. It was the Duck’s first game since Jan. 1, also against Utah. UO won 79-66.
The Beavers currently sit at 3-11 overall and 1-3 in Pac-12 play. Tinkle shouldered part of the blame for the loss after the game:
“I did a shit job early on. I’ve never had a team, excuse my language, in 16 years that at this point hasn’t come together as a team, which they have, don’t get me wrong; we really have [came together] in the last few weeks. But earlier [in the season], we didn’t play the way our teams are supposed to play the first time, and so I’ve got to take that blame square on my shoulders.”
This was the first time the Ducks have won in Gill Coliseum in back-to-back years since 2012-13.
The Beavers and Ducks head to LA this weekend to take on UCLA and USC, with the Beavs playing USC on Jan. 13 and UCLA on Jan. 15. The Ducks schedule is flipped against those schools.