Both teams were very competitive and solid throughout the game and exhibited multiple defensive schemes. LMU opened in a 2-2-1 full court press, while OSU countered with their 1-2-2 full court press, half court traps, and zones. The Beavers opened up the lead by 16 points with 2:23 remaining in the first half. LMU fought back hard in the second half, which was more like a boxing match, however neither team could quite get that knockout blow in a game that consisted of both teams making runs back and forth, It was the poised leadership from Drew Eubanks (22 points), Stephen Thompson Jr. (11 points) and Tres Tinkle (18 points) that enabled the Beavers to escape with the win. It was mentioned during the press conference that these were the type of games the young Beavers lost a year ago.
As the Gill Coliseum erupted from the chants of Eubanks throughout the game, it was the first half where the Beavers’ 6-10 junior forward put his stamp on the game. He scored 14 of his teams 38 first half points with thrilling dunks. Eubanks finished the first half with 6-of-6 field goals, 2-of-4 free-throws, four rebounds, and four blocks. Eubanks displayed the athleticism to play at the next level with a very nice shooting touch and footwork for his size.
The Beavers 6-7 slashing junior forward Tinkle contributed added seven rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and two steals to his 18 points. Tinkle is a athletic wing with a very soft shooting touch, he has been the most consistent Beaver in the young 2017-18 season. Tinkle has good leaping and rebounding abilities to compliment his athletic frame. He exhibits good court awareness, and has a great overall feel for the game. He has good footwork and quick hands which allows him to play multiple wing positions. A charismatic leader with a winners mentality, he stays very poised during the trying moments of games. The next advancement and transition for him would be to continue improving and developing his ball handling and strength for the next level.
The Lions shooters began to really light it up in the second half converting on 9-of-17 3-pointers in the half overcoming a 16-point deficit. They were led by three-point shooters 6-2 junior Jeffrey McClendon (3-of-3), 6-6 sophomore Erik Johansson (2-of-4), 6-1 junior James Batemon (2-of-3), and 6-7 senior Steven Haney (2-of-7). The Lions competed really hard, tying the game several occasions, however never taking the lead. They were led by 7-3, 248-pound sophomore Mattias Markusson, from Sweden, who dropped a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
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