LAS VEGAS - With the Pac-12 Tournament wide open, it appeared this season could be Oregon State’s chance to take the crown. The Beavers (18-13, 10-8 Pac-12) earned a coveted first round bye, finished with their best conference record since the 1989-90 season and had a veteran team full of playmakers. Alas, the Oregon State Cinderella story vanished just as quickly as it arrived, losing to Colorado, 73-58, in the quarterfinals.
Also maybe gone? Oregon State’s chances of making the NIT tournament. The Beavers were a bubble team and a win over fifth-seeded Colorado (21-11, 10-8) would have been a good and needed resume boost. Instead, the Beavers depart Las Vegas with Selection Sunday outcome looking gloom and out of their hands. If the CBI Tournament calls, OSU could accept an invitation to the smaller postseason tournament.
Following the loss, OSU coach Wayne Tinkle held out hope for the NIT, “We’ll see,” Tinkle said. “My take is; if it’s the right situation, these guys have had a remarkable year and have earned an opportunity… But we’ll take that as it comes down the road.”
Seems a shame that a season full of highs should end abruptly in Las Vegas during OSU’s first game that showcased many lows. Oregon State’s 18 first half points were the lowest of the season and its five total assists were also a low. The Beavers did not make a three pointer in the first half, despite the nine attempts from beyond the arc.
Another low; Fourth-seeded OSU was the first higher seeded team to be “upset” in the conference tournament.
OSU trailed by as many as 21 points in the first half but roared out of the locker room after halftime, coming to life for a second half comeback that would eventually fall short. The Beavers cut the deficit to six points with two 10-0 runs and exciting play from Tres Tinkle, Ethan Thompson and Stephan Thompson Jr., all which reached double-digit scoring marks.
Tinkle led the Beavers with 23 points, his fifth-consecutive game scoring 20-plus.
Colorado took back the momentum, extended its winning streak to five games, and eliminated the Beavers.
"They came out and made shots, got confident and we just didn't really do much to try to stop it," Tinkle said.
The Cinderella story quickly turned scary; The Beavers' flat start doomed them from the start and sent them packing back to Corvallis.