Gill Coliseum had a different energy on Saturday afternoon as Oregon State celebrated their two departing senior forwards Tres Tinkle and Kylor Kelley. The two were facing off against the California Bears on March 7 for their senior night.
Tinkle’s sisters, Joslyn and Elle, were in attendance and, as always, cheered on their brother who broke the school’s scoring record on Thursday against Stanford. The oldest, Joslyn, was emotional looking back on Tinkle’s career.
“To kind of go through something like this, the good and the bad, and to have each other’s backs through it all has been really, really awesome. It’s something we’ll cherish forever,” Joslyn Tinkle said.
The Tinkle sisters almost never miss a game and are widely regarded as two of the most passionate supporters within Beaver Nation. They sit court side and never fail to bring the energy.
“There’s so much attention on us on the sidelines but people fail to realize she gets into it just as much as we do,” Joslyn Tinkle said of her mother, Lisa.
The Beavers never looked back following the conclusion of the ceremony as the seniors knew it was their night. The pair was the top two leading scorers for the Beavers as Tinkle went for 24 points and six rebounds while Kelley added 19 points and eight rebounds, leading OSU to a 74-56 win over the California Golden Bears. Kelley realized the importance of blocking out the emotions in order to play an effective game.
“You have to lock in right after the ceremony. We did that, and it showed,” Kelley said.
Tres Tinkle also knew it would be tough to say goodbye to Gill Coliseum but understood that the most important thing was that the Beavers got the win.
“I felt like we held it together pretty well at the beginning. I thought I was going to be worse than I was,” Tres Tinkle said.
Oregon State opened up a 20-10 lead with 7:44 remaining in the first half, following consecutive threes. The low-scoring battle ended up being just 26-21 Beavers at the half. OSU’s defensive scheme led to 16 turnovers for California while the Beavers only had eight. OSU went with a 1-3-1 zone for most of the game which caused trouble for the Bears. However, this defensive structure was not the game plan going into the matchup according to OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle.
“I had no clue that we were going to play our 1-3-1 today,” Wayne Tinkle said. “We were going to play some man, some 2-3, and I just kind of had some quiet time and I said with the emotion of senior day, my worry was that we’d come out in man and be over-hyped.”
The Beavers never trailed and the game was only tied once throughout. The Beavers’ lead had swelled to 18 with 5:45 remaining at 60-42, but California went on their largest run of the game of 9-0 to pull within single digits at 60-51 with 3:30 to play.
OSU freshman guard Gianni Hunt hit a three on the following possession, sealing the win for the Beavs.
Oregon State finishes 7-11 in conference and 17-13 during the regular season. Both the Beavers and the Bears will be in Las Vegas next week for the PAC-12 tournament from March 11-14.