The Oregon State Beavers wrapped up their exhibition schedule on Tuesday, Oct. 29 with a 96-45 win against the Warner Pacific Knights at Gill Coliseum.
This exhibition was the final of two such games for the Beavers, who beat the Carroll College Fighting Saints on Wednesday, Oct. 23 by a final score of 79-60. The 2-0 record in their exhibition matches will not follow them into the regular season, but the games did provide Oregon State a chance to prepare for their season opener.
After the game, Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle discussed how the team was able to improve from their first exhibition game against the Fighting Saints to their final one against the Knights, as well as what the team was able to learn from the two games overall.
“I was excited. I thought we improved in a lot of different ways from last week” Tinkle said. “[We got] a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys. Focus defensively was a lot better, we knocked down free throws and really shared the ball.”
One of the players Tinkle got a big contribution from against the Knights was freshman guard Gianni Hunt. Hunt played 23 minutes for the Beavers and ended the contest with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists while adding two steals and a blocked shot on defense.
Tinkle spoke highly of the freshman guard after the game and talked about how Hunt can continue to contribute to the team once the season begins.
“This guy’s a warrior,” Tinkle said about Hunt. “I think the quicker he acclimates to what we need from him, the more of an impact he’s going to have early on.”
Hunt contributed on both offense and defense for Oregon State, and added to what was a strong showing all around for the team. The defense was able to hold the Knights to 29 percent on their field goal attempts, including three for 20 on three-point attempts. Meanwhile, the Beaver offense ended the game making over half of their shot attempts, and totaled 27 assists on their 34 made field goals.
Beaver junior guard Sean Miller-Moore talked about the importance of the team getting their nerves out during their exhibition games in an interview last week against Carroll College. He said doing so will help the Beavers to execute better going forward. While the team still has room to grow, Oregon State looked to have most of those nerves dealt with in the game against Warner Pacific.
The Beavers improved in two areas they struggled with against Carroll College, free throw percentage and rebounding. Against the Knights, Oregon State made 87 percent of their free throw attempts after going 16 for 32 the week before against the Fighting Saints. Additionally, after giving up 15 offensive rebounds in their first exhibition game, the Beavers allowed seven against Warner Pacific.
With the exhibition matches over and the team’s biggest issues improved upon from the first exhibition game to the last, coach Wayne Tinkle and the Beavers looked forward to the start of the regular season.
“We should be ready,” Tinkle said about having the team ready for the regular season. “I know we’ve got a very challenging start to our schedule, but there’s not a different group of guys I’d want to go to battle with.”
Oregon State will open up regular season play on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m in Gill Coliseum against the California State University Northridge Mustangs.