In a season where the Beaver could seemingly have thrown in the towel at this point in the season, the Oregon State Men’s Basketball team shocked fans and the conference by beating host Stanford with a score of 68-63 on Jan. 30 in Palo Alto, Calif.
The Beavers had a quick start after senior forward Tres Tinkle aggressively took the ball to the basket over Stanford freshman forward Spencer Jones with authority for the basket and a free throw shot from a foul. The fire has been limited as of late for the Beavers who have lost their previous four conference games.
The player of the game for the Beavers was freshman guard Jarod Lucas who finished with a team and career high of 21 points. Lucas presented an outside threat in which the Beavers have so desperately needed throughout this season. Lucas also bought the energy that a somewhat lethargic squad of late has needed, bringing the Beavers bench to their feet and showing a cohesiveness that Beavers fans have questioned.
OSU senior forward Kylor Kelley also made history by becoming the program’s new career leader in blocked shots, with 185 total. The question remains why the veteran team has been underachieving for much of the season after early impressive conference start against No. 20 Colorado and against Arizona who was ranked when the Beavers upset them in Gill Coliseum.
The question now is whether this play can hold for the rest of the season, as there have only been small glimpses of it. Against Stanford, the Beavers stuck to their game plan and formations, holding off an early second half push which brought the Cardinal to within one point. Whenever the Cardinal inched closer though, the Beavers would make a play, feeding off the energy of leader Tinkle and hot-handed Lucas.
The game remained competitive and close between the two teams throughout. Stanford junior forward Oscar De Silva led the Cardinal with 22 points and 8 rebounds, but the team could never find their rhythm off the Beavers stifling defensive efforts.
The Beavers are far from a PAC-12 regular season crown, but have had their moments in what many perceived this team to be all season long. Proving that when the team plays as they did against Stanford, it is difficult for anyone to beat them.
Oregon State will return to Gill Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 8 to face off in their first rivalry matchup against the Oregon Ducks at 7:30 p.m.