17 first half points plagues Beavers

The Oregon State men’s basketball team was defeated in blow-out fashion in an 86-68 loss at Arizona State on Thursday night, marking OSU’s fourth loss in the last five games.


The contest was defined by sluggish play from star senior point guard Gary Payton II. Payton II was unable to score in the first half, shooting 0 of 3 from the field as ASU took a 36-17 lead into halftime. He was not any more effective in the second half, and finished with a season-low two points on 0 of 7 shooting in 29 minutes of play. Fellow senior and big man Olaf Schaftenaar was equally ineffective, scoring one point and 0 of 2 shooting.

A season-long trend of woes from the free-throw line also continued for the Beavers, as they missed a total of 11 free throw attempts. OSU has now shot at or below 50 percent from the free throw line in two consecutive games.

Additionally, the Beavers saw their fair share of struggles on the defensive end. Arizona State shot 59 percent from the field on the night, including 11 of 24 from the three-point line. OSU did not block a shot on the evening and was only able to force two steals.


ASU seniors guard Gerry Blakes and forward Willie Atwood took advantage of the Beavers’ collective off-game and both had big nights for the Sun Devils, combining for 30 points and 11 rebounds 11 of 18 shooting from the field. Junior forward Obinna Oleka gashed the Beavers inside and out, scoring a team-high 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting with two three-pointers.

Thursday’s loss comes on the heels of a key home victory against previously ranked USC. The Beavers will now hit the road again to play No. 18 Arizona this Sunday, Jan. 31.


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