Beavers never trail en route to home victory

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Julie Barber: OMN Photographer

Oregon State University men’s basketball player Rodrigue Andela dunks on Florida A&M’s entire line up on Nov. 11, at Gill Coliseum. OSU defeated Florida A&M 60-43 and Andela scored 10 points.

Ben Pahl, Sports Contributor

The Oregon State men’s basketball team defeated the Florida A&M Panthers 60-43 on Friday night in a non-conference game at Gil Coliseum.  

On a night where the offense struggled at times, the Beavers were able to dominate with defense. Ten minutes into the first half, Oregon State held Florida A&M to just six points, and the Panthers went into halftime with only 17. Coach Tinkle praised his team’s performance on defense.  

“Really proud of the young group for finding a way to slug rats here and pull out a win,” Tinkle said. “I thought we guarded for the most part pretty hard and smart other than one stretch there in the second half. Other than that I thought we defended really well.”  

After going into the locker room up by just five, the Beavers stretched out a lead early in the second half. While Florida A&M never fell out of striking distance, the Beavers never let the Panthers cut the lead back to single digits in the second half. Oregon State never trailed on Friday night and led for all but the first 17 seconds of the game.  

Senior Forward Rodrigue Andela was perhaps the biggest standout out for the Beavers on Friday night. A key piece of Oregon State’s 2020 elite eight-team, Andela scored ten points, blocked two shots, and grabbed six rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. Andela was a force in the paint whenever he was on the court.  

Junior Dexter Akkano and freshman Jordan Pope were the leading scorers for Oregon State with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Off the bench, freshman Michael Rataj put up eight points and shot 4-4 from the field.  

Oregon State’s roster includes eleven new players and a total of eight freshmen. While it certainly takes time for a team to learn to play together, coach Tinkle has been pleased with what he’s seen so far.  

 “What I love is the chemistry that they have. Like Dexter said they’re picking each other up. You can’t get into it where for 40 minutes you’re saying next play, or you’re gonna end up losing. But they hold each other accountable. So when you have that type of chemistry this early with the number of new guys we have, that tells you that you’ve got a chance to be pretty good on the defensive end.”  

Next up the Beavers will face Bushnell University on Tuesday the 15th in Corvallis. The following week on Thursday, November 24th, Oregon State will take on seventh-ranked Duke in Corvallis.