Oregon State MBB beats the Cowboys 80-70, advances to Sweet Sixteen

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Ben Rabbino, Sports Contributor

Oregon State is moving on the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1975.

Playing against the fourth-seed Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Beavers showed out in their ticket to become one of sixteen remaining teams in this year’s March Madness Tournament, winning 80-70 in the Round of 32 matchup.

Like they did in the first round against Tennessee, Oregon State played a tough defensive scheme that pressured the Cowboys offense into committing eight turnovers and held their highest-scoring player, Cade Cunningham, who is projected to be the number one pick in this year’s upcoming NBA Draft, to 24 points and three assists.

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For the Beavers, senior guard Ethan Thompson had a career game on both sides of the ball. Having the defensive assignment of guarding Cunningham and the offensive responsibilities that he carries, Thompson showed he was up to the task by tallying 26 points, his second-highest scoring total of the season, and grabbed seven rebounds as well..

Senior guard Jarod Lucas added 15 points, hitting two three-pointres, while shooting 7-7 from the free-throw line. The team’s star off the bench this game, junior forward Maurice Calloo, scored 15 points and sparked the start of an eventual 18 point lead held in the first half.

As a team, the Beavers shot 41% from the field including 30% from the three-point line. But it was the  Beavers’ ability to hit free throws that played the biggest role in maintaining the lead for the whole game. At the line, Oregon State shot 32-35 (91.4%) while the Cowboys were only able to hit 26-38 (68.4%).

Looking forward, Beavers will have to play a tough matchup with the eighth-seed Loyola Chicago Ramblers to advance to the Elite 8, who just beat first-seeded Illinois earlier this morning. The matchup between the two “underdog” teams taking place on March 26th.