Corvallis, OR – The Oregon State Beavers opened their season facing the Southern Utah Thunderbirds for the second time in both schools history. The last time these two teams faced off was at Gill Coliseum in 2001 with the Beavers winning 73-63. Tonight, OSU pulled off the victory with solid defense, hustle and transitional plays to earn their first victory of the season 99-82.
There was good energy in Gill Coliseum on this Friday night season opener for both teams. The game started a little slow, but then Oregon State kicked it into another gear. With 7:21 remaining in the first half the Beavers led 27-16 but then closed the half going on a 24-12 run to take a 51-28 lead into halftime.
The second half was more competitive for Southern Utah as they were fouled repeatedly and went to the free throw line 32 times The Thunderbirds scored 54 second half points and outscored Oregon State in the half. However it wasn’t enough for them to overcome their large halftime deficit.
There were several players who stood out throughout the game. The most consistent from start to finish were OSU’s 6-8 junior forward Tres Tinkle (24 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 6-for-6 FT’s) and 6-5, 190-pound freshman guard Ethan Thompson (20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals and no turnovers). Both players were extremely effective and efficient throughout the game. They both have very solid skills and bear watching this season to see if they can continue their strong play. They both have high potential. 6-3 junior guard Stephen Thompson Jr., Ethan’s older brother, started to heat up in the second half with 14 second stanza points to finish the game with 16.
Southern Utah’s 6-4 junior point guard Jadon Cohee showed flashes of brilliance with his lengthy physically athletic frame. Cohee finished the game with 20 points, however more impressively was how creative he showed as a slasher using his physical talent to get to the free throw line. He had 18 free throw attempts, converting 13 of them. Cohee showed the ability to potentially play overseas after college..
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