It was a stormy, cold evening in the state of Oregon when two in-state rivals separated by just 50 miles of highway and one game in the Pac-12 conference met in Corvallis, Oregon on Saturday night.
The Civil War is the most contested rivalry in the nation and for the first time since the 2009-2010 season, the Oregon State Beavers swept the Oregon Ducks in both contests this season. On Saturday, the Beavers took care of business 72-57 on home court in front of 9,000+ black/orange screaming fans.
It comes to no surprise that Stephen Thompson Jr. put together a nice game at Gill Coliseum. The senior has been averaging 16.3 points per game. On Saturday, he recorded 22 points shooting 50% from the field and splashing in four-of-eight from three-point range.
Momentum in the game of basketball is either a make or break scenario for a team. Coming out of halftime and down 28-27, the Beavers went on a 9-0 run and gained momentum that would carry them to the end. That momentum had something to do with Thompson Jr.’s 4-point play, but sophomore Alfred Hollins contributed with a tough drive to the hoop and an and-1 opportunity.
In fact, it was the Beavers bench that stepped up big against the Ducks outscoring Oregon 21-15. Hollins finished with eight points and five rebounds and senior Gligorije Rakocevic contributed 11 points with a perfect four-of-four from the field.
“Great team effort all around from top to bottom everybody played well, everybody contributed,” said Thompson Jr. following the game.
Oregon State’s “big 3” of Thompson Jr., his younger brother Ethan Thompson, and Tres Tinkle recorded well-rounded games, but they were supported greatly by the Beavers’ bench play.
With this win, Oregon State (16-8, 8-4 Pac-12) moves into second place in the Pac-12 conference, three games behind the Washington Huskies and next heading on the road to Southern California this upcoming weekend. If Oregon State can put together a full game, continue their defensive intensity, as well as get good production from their bench, the Beavers just may land that first-round Pac-12 conference tournament BYE that is ever so crucial in a four-day tournament.