For the first time this season, the Oregon State Men’s Basketball team won back-to-back conference games. The Beavers defeated the Utah Utes 70-51 on Thursday, Feb. 13 in Gill Coliseum.
Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle said he was proud of the team after their “great win.”
“Following up off a big win last weekend, knowing who was coming in here on Saturday. I thought our guys really responded well for the most part,” Tinkle said. “We need to clean a few things up but really proud of them for the way they set the tone defensively and the way we shared the ball. Made a lot of plays for each other.”
Utah, who beat Oregon State earlier this season in their PAC-12 opener on Jan. 2, struggled to continue the offensive momentum in the rematch. The Utes were dominated by Oregon State’s defense, only hitting 37.3% from the field.
“Our defense has been a whole different level, that’s something we need to keep on going for the rest of the PAC-12 and eventually the postseason,” OSU freshman guard Jarod Lucas said.
Oregon State attacked early on in the game, having one of their best first-half performances compared to other games in the conference season. Trailing only once in the first half at 5-2, the Beavers quickly turned the game around and lead the half by a double-digit margin.
The Beavers defense encouraged an early lead, ending the first half with a score of 35-19 in favor of the Beavers. Utah had only made eight of 27 shots in the first half and were forced into nine turnovers. Utah’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Timmy Allen, was held to only six points. The only Utah player who finished the game in double digits was freshman center Branden Carlson with 13 points.
Oregon State, on the other hand, had four players in the double digits. This included senior forward Kylor Kelly who led the Beavers with 16 points, followed by junior guard Ethan Thompson with 13, senior forward Tres Tinkle with 11 and junior guard Zach Reichle with 10.
“Everybody on the team was scoring well, we played together and scored good shots,” freshman guard Gianni Hunt said.
Tinkle, Oregon State’s leading scorer, is now tied with Mel Counts who holds the school record with his 89th consecutive double-digit scoring game.
Oregon State’s defense did not allow the Utes to come closer than 18 points for the majority of the game and the Beavers led by 25 points at most.
Oregon State continues their at-home conference play and looks to stretch their win streak to three against the No. 16 Colorado Buffaloes. The two will face off on Feb. 15 in Gill Coliseum with a 7 p.m. tipoff.