Beavers succumb to hype, drop Civil War

By Joshua Lucas Daily Barometer
Freshman Forward Tres Tinkle drives to the basket against sophomore forward Dillon Brooks. 

Michael Kiever Sports Reporter

Payton II, Duvivier early foul troubles put OSU in early hole in 91-81 loss

With NCAA tournament hopes and a potential rivalry sweep in reach, there was great deal of hype going into Saturday evening’s Civil War, and in the end, that may have been OSU’s undoing.

“I’ll take the blame- I maybe made this a bigger game than I should have,” said head coach Wayne Tinkle following the loss. “Maybe it was just a little bit too much for us right now.”

Oregon successfully avenged their Jan. 3 loss in Corvallis, cruising to a 91-81 rout and holding the lead for 35:43 of 40 minutes. It was the second straight loss for OSU, and the outcome likely puts a dent in expectations for the rest of the season.

Early in the game, OSU found itself at a disadvantage after senior guard Gary Payton II picked up two quick fouls early in the first half. As tends to happen when Payton II prematurely hits the bench, the Beavers quickly looked muddled on offense and defense. Payton II only contributed two of his 11 total points in the first half, helping Oregon to take a 51-28 lead into halftime. Malcolm Duvivier also subbed out early with foul trouble, leaving the Beavers without two of its starters out for a period of time.

“It’s tough having two of our best players out,” freshman forward Tres Tinkle said. “We still tried to perform through the adversity, but it wasn’t there until the second half.”

Behind the efforts of Tinkle, the Beavers bounced back to play better and ultimately outscore the Ducks in the second half 53-40. Tinkle led the team with 23 points on 6-10 shooting and 9-11 free throws, injecting life into the generally flat-lining performance.

“What I loved was the second half. We challenged the guys at halftime to not throw in the towel,” coach Tinkle said. “In the second half we did a much better job. We fought a lot harder.”

Oregon freshman guard Tyler Dorsey torched the Beavers with 24 points on 9-15 shooting and three three-pointers. Sophomore guard Dillon Brooks also made an impact for the Ducks, with 17 points on 3-8 shooting from the field and 10-10 shooting from the free throw line.

The Ducks were able to beat OSU in transition, forcing turnovers and getting the crowd on their feet with a bevy of electrifying plays. Elgin Cook threw down a number of slam dunks that got the ball rolling for the Ducks in the first half. There was an instance in which Cook dunked hard enough that the ball popped off the rim, only to swish back in on the fall. The crowd was on their feet, and the team was able to feed off their energy to take a commanding lead.

Overall, UO played much more actively. The Beavers were outrebounded 33-29 and only registered six combined blocks and steals to Oregon’s 14.

Things will ease up for the Beavers when they host Washington and Washington State next week, but OSU is losing time to prove itself a worthy team for the tournament.

For the time being, Payton II is spinning a disappointing loss into an important lesson that could help the Beavers going into the final portion of the season.

“In any atmosphere, any environment you’ve just got to fight. It’s not going to go your way all the time,” Payton II said. “Just keep fighting, and at the end of a stretch, you can get back in it.”

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