Beaver basketball teams show promise despite COVID-19 cancellations

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Grant Hurd, OMN Photographer

Head Oregon State men’s basketball coach Wayne Tinkle addresses the media after a loss to the University of Washington Huskies on Jan. 10. OSU and UW have had various games postponed or cancelled due to their COVID-19 policies.

Hannah Mitchell, Sports Contributor

Both Oregon State University basketball programs are overcoming challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, having had to either cancel or postpone scheduled sporting events 13 times throughout the season.

Coming off a series of postponements against the North Carolina Central University Eagles on Dec. 28, 2021, the University of Utah Utes on Jan. 2, the University of California Golden Bears on Jan. 7 and the Stanford University Cardinal on Jan. 9, the women’s basketball team finally got to resume play once again against the No. 7 ranked University of Arizona Wildcats on Jan. 13, a whole 25 days after their last contest.

While the Beavers lost by a narrow score of 55-53, the team expressed gratitude to be able to play inside Gill Coliseum again, especially following an extended time between games. Some players even thought that the team looked good considering not playing for a long amount of time.

“Coming off of the setbacks we had, I think we were all just really hungry to play, and I

think that really showed how tough we are,” said Oregon State redshirt-junior forward Taya Corosdale.

This season has given the women’s basket- ball team an opportunity to give playing time to those on the roster who normally don’t start. Oregon State redshirt-senior forward Ellie Mack said the game versus the Wildcats showed her how talented the team actually is.

“Our bench is deep,” Mack said. “We have really, really talented guards, [and] really talented posts, so I think we can be really successful this year.”

Depth in a roster is more important than ever when a positive COVID-19 test can take away at least five days of time a player could use to practice and be with their team. But despite the limited players, Mack said she thinks the team handled their situation well.

“Thankfully we weren’t off for as long this time and more people were able to practice so that was definitely good for us,” Mack said. “I think there definitely was a little bit of apprehension going into the COVID-19 pauses. But I think we’ve handled it really, really well.”

Following the match up against the Wildcats, the women’s basketball team faced off against the University of Colorado Buffaloes, a game

that was previously postponed and rescheduled for Jan. 17, when the Beavers got the upset win 69-66 in overtime.

Both Beaver basketball programs are not the only teams going through personal challenges, said Head Men’s Basketball Coach Wayne Tinkle, as many teams across the country are affected by the new, more transmissible omicron variant.

The annual basketball game against the University of Oregon Ducks was originally scheduled for Jan. 8 in Corvallis, Ore. However, the game was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Ducks’ program. The game was then rescheduled for Jan. 10, where the Beavers lost to the Ducks by a narrow score of 78-76.

While the Beavers arguably looked their best in that game, Tinkle said these cancellations were no excuse for a loss.

“They’ve had the same protocols,” Tinkle said. “They had the same pauses. So we are not going to make an excuse.’’

Tinkle said they reverted back to their habits from earlier in the season. He also said it is hard when they cannot be certain of who is going to be cleared to practice every day.

“That’s been really frustrating as a staff who really feels like we are good at building our team as the season goes on,” Tinkle said. “But everybody’s going through it.”

With both programs now halfway through their respective seasons, both teams will look to continue to court and any other pandemic fight hard on the push through challenges the throws at them.