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USC Freshman Onyeka Okongwu dunks the ball during matchup versus OSU in Gill Coliseum on Jan. 25, 2020.

In a battle of unranked teams, the Southern California Trojans visited Gill Coliseum to face off against the Oregon State Beavers on Jan. 25. Both teams were desperate for a win. 

Both men’s basketball teams were coming off a loss, with Oregon State losing to UCLA on Jan. 23 by a score of 58-62 and Southern California losing to Oregon on Jan. 23 by a score of 70-79. 

The Trojans started off strong, leading 21-8 in the first ten minutes of the first half. At halftime, the Trojans would lead 36-28. The Beavers started to rally back, closing the gap to 46-40 at the 12 minute mark in the second half. The Trojans ultimately walked away with the victory at a score of 75-55, giving the Oregon State Men's Basketball team their fourth loss in a row. 

Oregon State dropped to 12-7 overall and 2-6 in conference play with the loss. Southern California continued their strong conference record with the win at 16-4 overall and 5-2 in conference play.

“We dug ourselves too big a hole,” OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle said about the overall team performance. “We showed some grit to get back in it, cut it to six. We missed opportunities to cut it even more.” 

Tinkle did, however, also show respect towards the Trojans. 

“That team is very talented, they took it to us,” Tinkle said. “I liked the way our guys responded there for a while, but unfortunately, it took too much out of us.” 

Tinkle recognized the team could improve on both sides of the ball. 

“You always have to have the next wave of defense, and we didn’t have that. So, we’ve got to get better on the ball. We turned the ball over when we were making runs, and we came up empty on too many possessions,” Tinkle said. “Where I thought we were right there, if we would have cut that to one possession and put a little more pressure on them, but we weren’t able to do it.” 

OSU senior forward Tres Tinkle had 17 total points throughout the game, with six field goals, two three-pointers, and three free throws. 

“Cutting with a purpose,” Tinkle said about what the team needs to work on. “It’s not what we’re running, but it’s how we run it. So we just have to do it with a purpose. We stand and watch it at times, so it’s hard to open up and make plays, so just continue to move with the ball would open a lot of things.” 

Tinkle also passed former OSU forward Steve Johnson in all-time points during the game, putting him behind former guard Gary Payton. 

“It means nothing to me,” Tinkle said of the record. “At the end of the day, a win is a lot better.” 

OSU senior forward Kylor Kelley had 10 points throughout the game, scoring three field goals and four free throws. 

Kelley recognized that the team needed to improve together. 

“As a team, I think we just got to get better on the offensive and on the defensive end, like coach said. I don’t really look at individual performances, just the team as a whole,” said Kelley. “So when our guys need help, we’re not getting there.” 

The OSU Men’s Basketball team will now travel south as they will face Stanford on Jan. 30 and California on Feb. 1. The Beavers will then return back home to Gill Coliseum to face Oregon on Feb. 8. 

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