The Cougars opened in a 2-3 zone which the Beavers appeared to have the answer for. Midway through the first half they attacked the zone from the baseline, slashed the gaps from the wing and at the top of the key, and knocked down long range three pointers to finish the first half shooting 61 percent. Washington State’s senior forward Robert Franks Jr. kept the Cougars close scoring 14 points (5-11 FG, 2-5 3FG, 2-2 FT) in the half. The Cougars’ only lead of the half and the game came at 2-0. The Beavers closed out the first half on a three-pointer by senior guard Stephen Thompson Jr. to give OSU a 16-point halftime lead at 52-36. Statistically the Beavers outscored Washington Statein the paint 28-12, out-rebounded them 22-9, and had the edge in assists (13-7) and second chance points (9-0).
Oregon State had a balanced scoring attack, as they had four players reach double figures. This balance was more than the Cougars could overcome on the defensive end. Washington State’s CJ Elleby who only played ten minutes in the first half due to foul trouble (2-fouls), caught fire in the second half, Elleby scored all of his 21 points (9-16 FG, 3-7 3 FG) in the second half to compliment his four rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Early in the second half Elleby scored 13 points under a four minute stretch with back to back three pointers, mid range shots displaying great pivoting and drives to the basket. As the Cougars extended their 2-3 zone with traps along with full court pressure they closed the lead to nine points (67-58 with 12:35 remaining). That was as close as Washington State could get to victory, as the Cougars just could not get the defensive stops to get any closer.
For Oregon State, Thompson Jr. played a complete game on both ends of the floor. His senior leadership and facilitating led to 22 points (9-16 FG, 4-9 3FG,), six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. He led the way with good hustle, defense, rebounding, energy, and scoring as his hands were all over this game. The leading shot blocker in the nation Kylor Kelley added three more blocks in the game. He is constantly improving and has the ability to catch the ball from any angle from the Beavers guards. He also finished the game with 10 points (5-6 FG), seven rebounds, and three assists. 6’5” guard Ethan Thompson scored 20 points (6-11 FG, 3-7 3FG, 5-7 FT) with four rebounds and six assist. He’s having a solid sophomore campaign, and becoming more of na interesting pro prospect. Ethan is a complete guard with good size, can defend multiple positions, and is maturing into a leader on the court. The young sophomore guard is counted on by the Beavers and is gaining confidence and shooting touch from three-point range. Tres Tinkle scored 21 points (7-12 FG, 2-4 3FG, 5-5 FT) and had four rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks. He continues to display a very high IQ and feel for the game. Tinkle was very active on the defensive end.
Washington State had four players make significant contributions in the game. Elleby a 6’6” talented freshman forward has an aggressive mentality on both ends of the floorand isn’t afraid of physical contact. He’s a tough, athletic, and strong forward who can also handle the basketball, create his own shot, and knock down three pointers as a left-handed shooter with nice bounce and rotation on the shot. 6’9” senior forward Franks Jr. is a very talented offensively oriented big wing. He is capable of being one of his team’s best ball handlers at his size. He slashes to the basket with grace, and can create shots for himself and his teammates, along with the skill to knock down perimeter shots. He has a nice step back jumpshot off the dribble, and a triple threat jab jumpshot. He finished with 20 points (6-14 FG, 2-6 3 FG, 6-6 FT), eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks. 6’2” senior guard Viont’e Daniels is quick, explosive and a decent defensive player with quick hands, and a nice outside shot. He scored nine points (3-5 FG, 3-5 3FG). 6’5” forward Marvin Cannon battles on both ends of the floor. A competitor, he can play several positions and scored 10 points (3-4 FG, 1-1 3 FG, 3-3 FT) with two rebounds.
Oregon State hosts Washington on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies are coming off a road win at Oregon and remain undefeated with a 6-0 conference record. Washington State travels to Eugene to play the Oregon.