The Oregon State Beavers finished an off-season with 10 of 12 wins before losing 81-69 to the Utah Utes in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 3 in their first PAC-12 game of the season.
The Beavers got off to a hot start, holding an 11-4 lead before relinquishing it once both teams reached 20 points where the host Utes never looked back. The opening PAC-12 win for the Utes was largely helped by the conference’s leading scorer and sophomore from Arizona, Timmy Allen. Allen held his season high a year ago against the Beavers with 25 points.
Allen notched a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds and was almost able to score at will during the game. A double-double is achieved when a player reaches double digits for two stat lines. When the Beavers’ defense was able to hold him from driving to the paint, Allen utilized his teammates by kicking the ball out or finding an open cutter. He also played all 40 minutes of this game, proving his durability.
While Allen was crucial to the team’s success, Utah sophomore Both Gach also scored 17 points along with multiple impressive dunks that sent the Utah crowd to its feet. Sharpshooting freshman Rylan Jones also scored 14 points, secured a team high five assists and contributing to the lopsided win in three-point percentage with the Utes shooting 47% and the Beavers shooting 14%.
OSU would chip at their deficit, bringing the score to within a couple of points at times in the second half, but team leader and early favorite for PAC-12 Player of the Year in senior Tres Tinkle was unable to find his rhythm. Junior guard Zach Reichle shined in the second half in the gaps that Tinkle was unable to fill with multiple off hand drives for layups that kept the visiting Beavers within striking distance.
OSU junior guard Ethan Thompson was effective at times in penetrating the defense but failed convert on some crucial attempts. Senior forward Kylor Kelley also struggled all game and only scored 4 total points.
Oregon State showed moments of skill and stuck around in a tough road environment. However, the uphill battle continues with the rest of a talented 2020 PAC-12 Men's Basketball conference. The Beavers played Colorado in Boulder on Jan. 5 at 3 p.m.