The Oregon State Beavers Basketball team lost to the Oklahoma Sooners 77-69 on Monday, Nov. 11 as they were one of four teams featured in the third annual Phil Knight Invitational at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.
This loss snapped a two-game win streak to begin their 2019-20 basketball season. The loss follows an impressive 80-74 win against defending Big-12 tournament champion in Iowa State on Sat, Nov. 9 at Gill Coliseum.
On a night where the Beavers’ offense struggled, Oklahoma hit 11 three-pointers and took a hot opening to the second half to distance themselves from Oregon State. Oklahoma was led by senior forward Kristian Doolittle who scored 19 points to go along with 16 rebounds and four assists. Doolitte is coming off a 2018-19 campaign where he won the Big-12 Most Improved Player award.
OSU senior forward Tres Tinkle led the way for the Beavers by putting up 18 points and 10 rebounds to go along with 5 assists. Junior guard Ethan Thompson was second in points with 17, and junior forward Alfred Hollins tallied 12 points early with limited numbers from most of the other starters.
Players like Hollins, Thompson and senior forward Kylor Kelley are part of the Beavers’ seasoned roster, one who came close to making a run at NCAA tournament with tight losses coming down the stretch of the season.
The Beavers displayed moments of depth and ability against Oklahoma with a solid starting five including Tinkle, Kelley, Hollins, Thompson and junior guard Zach Reichle. An Oregon native and near local from Wilsonville, Ore., Reichle displayed improvements from last season already and notched 10 points in their matchup versus Oklahoma.
The PAC-12 currently holds four teams in NCAA Top 25 with Oregon, Arizona, Colorado and Washington. Despite the rankings being early in the season, it shows promise from last year in which no team from the conference finished inside the AP Poll Top 25 after the regular season.
The potential conference growth in competitiveness gives room for teams to shine late in the season. In-state rival for the Beavers in Oregon showed the premise of the conference gaining visibility by reaching the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament last March.
Oklahoma is projected to finish near the bottom of the Big-12 by many preseason polls. The Beavers’ season could be influenced by loss from a team with low expectations of a postseason run. However, continued non-conference games will provide OSU with the opportunity to grow in skill and strength before their conference games begin in January.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle and the Oregon State Basketball squad have their work cut out for them with a new season beginning. They proved last year that they have legitimate strengths in fundamentals and solid formations.
For the Beavers, the loss to Oklahoma could be taken as a preseason game of sorts. The matchup was a learning experience to see how the team stacked up against a Big-12 team and provides the opportunity to find areas of improvement as the season progresses.
Oregon State Beavers continue their season as they travel to Laramie, Wyo. to face the Wyoming Cowboys for their first true road test on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 6 P.M.