Corvallis, OR – In a nail-biter that came down to a final possession Utah prevailed over Oregon State 66-64. The Beavers had four chances to tie or win it on their final possession but missed two three-pointers and a tip-in. Ethan Thompson then traveled along the baseline while attempting to in-bound the ball with 1.4 seconds remaining, turning the ball back over to Utah. Alfred Hollins intercepted the ensuing pass but his desperation halfcourt shot missed and the Utes celebrated the win.
The game was very competitive from start to finish, the main difference was Utah’s first-half 3-point shooting (10-of-17) and their half court patience, often taking the shot clock methodically down under five seconds. Utah was efficient while facing pressure scenarios and traps from Oregon State. Gill Coliseum was amazingly loud during the final ten minute stretch of the game providing the Beavers with some uplifting energy which helped them to fight back and help give them an opportunity to win the game .
The Beavers became the aggressors in the second half, picking up man to man near half court instead of waiting for the Utes’ offense to get into their sets. This helped get the Beavers back into contention.
5-8 senior transfer point guard Justin Bibbins played a very effective and efficient role throughout the game scoring 18 points and controlling the game with a 6-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. He also grabbed four rebounds and had two steals. Bibbins is a very quick, fast, change of pace dribbling point guard who handles the ball well with pressure. He has the ability to split and/or get around pick-and-roll sets with his decision making. He has a good shooting touch and rotation on his shots. 6-2 junior guard Sedrick Barefield (9 points, 4 rebounds) likely had the purest natural shooting touch in the arena. He has near perfect backspin trajectory with his shot. Barefield is a physical combo guard, isn’t afraid of contact and can create his own shot.
3-point shooting was a key in this game. Oregon State made its comeback helped by 3-of-6 shooting from downtown by 6-4 junior Stephen Thompson Jr. He finished with 13 points, three rebounds, four assists and a steal. 6-8 junior forward Tres Tinkle had a solid all-around game with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. 6-10 center Drew Eubanks (10 points, 5 rebounds) had his time limited as he committed several quick second half fouls and subsequently fouled out.
Interesting Stats for Game
- Utah led 30:56 of the game
- First Half 3PT FG: Utah. 10-17 OSU. 2-7, GAME: Utah 47.8% OSU 33.3%
- Points off Turnovers: OSU 12 – Utah 12
Oregon State (9-5, 1-1) hosts Oregon (11-4, 1-1) on January 5th in both teams’ first action of 2018.
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