All good things must come to an end.
The best Oregon State basketball season in 39 years ended in anticlimactic fashion Monday evening in a 67-61 loss to No. 2 Houston in the Elite Eight.
With a win, Oregon State could have become the lowest-seeded team ever to make the Final Four, but the Beavers fell just short.
The Beavers trailed by 17 points at halftime but battled all the way back to tie the game on a Gianni Hunt three-pointer with 3:46 remaining in the game. However, Houston responded with a 9-1 run.
Ethan Thompson struggled from the field, missing his first seven shots and finishing with just 11 points on 3-12 shooting and 5-8 from the free-throw line.
Houston looked like the better team on both ends for the entire first half, showing why they were one of two teams nationally to be top-ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency (joining Gonzaga). In the first half alone, the Cougars grabbed eight offensive rebounds leading to seven second-chance points, and finished with 19 offensive rebounds.
Meanwhile, the Beavers had just seven offensive rebounds for the game with one in the first half.
The Cougars also got the ball in transition, taking advantage of eight first-half Beavers turnovers, for eight fastbreak points. Oregon State responded in the second half taking care of the ball and not turning it over until getting tied up with 47 seconds remaining in the game.
While Oregon State had the Pac-12's best three-point defense, it did not force the opponent to miss like it had in previous games this month. The Cougars shot 34.4% from three-point range which wasn't great, but far better than the combined 23% allowed in the first three games of the event.
The lack of three-point shooting luck combined with an inability to get defensive rebounds doomed the Beavers.
The Beavers shot just 11-20 from the free-throw line in the 6-point loss.
But this was still the best Beavers season in 39 years and no one within the program should feel anything but pride for how Oregon State finished the season.
For Houston, the Cougars have a chance to win the program's first-ever NCAA men's basketball championship. Houston was the national runner-up in 1983 and 1984 during the program's Phi Slama Jama era.