Beavers survive against the Huskies in conference-opening thriller victory

Senior+forward+Dzmitry+Ryuny+surveys+his+options+while+being+guarded+by+a+Flordia+A%26M+defender+on+Nov.+11+in+Gill+Colliseum.+Ryuny+led+the+way+for+the+Beavers+in+scoring+with+14+points+in+their+win+Thursday+night+against+Washington.

Julie Barber

Senior forward Dzmitry Ryuny surveys his options while being guarded by a Flordia A&M defender on Nov. 11 in Gill Colliseum. Ryuny led the way for the Beavers in scoring with 14 points in their win Thursday night against Washington.

Ben Pahl, Sports Contributor

The Oregon State men’s basketball team clawed their way to a 66-65 victory over the Washington Huskies in a wild PAC-12 opener on Thursday night at Gill Coliseum.  

After watching their double-digit lead collapse from a 15-2 Washington run, Oregon State found themselves trailing 64-61 with just 40 seconds left to play. After two made free throws from sophomore guard Glenn Taylor Jr., the Huskies regained possession leading by just a point.  

“I said push it up the court and we’ll call timeout,” Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle said, referring to the plan if the Beavers got a stop on Washington’s possession. “And then I looked to coach Rev and said ‘if it’s a funky rebound or an outlet we gotta stay patient.’”  

It turns out no timeout was needed. 

After Oregon State forced a stop, freshman Jordan Pope took the ball up the court in transition and found junior guard Dexter Akanno, who laid it in while being fouled. 

Akanno hit the free throw with 8.2 seconds left to complete the three-point play and put the Beavers up by one.  

After calling their last timeout ahead of Washington’s final possession, Oregon State’s focus turned towards a defensive strategy to get one more stop.  

“We had a nice discussion on whether we go man or zone,” Tinkle said, “and with 8.6 seconds left, I just didn’t want to leave it up to chance if they get it up the floor, drive, there’s a foul and they win at the free throw line.” 

Coach Tinkle decided to go with their 1-2-2 back zone.

After Dexter Akanno knocked the ball out of play with just over three seconds remaining, Washington was forced to inbound the ball one more time. 

The Beavers were able to guard well without fouling and Keion Brook’s three missed as time ran out, sealing the win for Oregon State.  

Senior forward Dzmitry Ryuny led the Beavers in the scoring department with 14 points and he also grabbed nine rebounds. 

Ryuny shot three for five from beyond the arc. 

Dexter Akkano and Glenn Taylor Jr also scored in double figures on Thursday night. In his first start of the season, freshman forward Michael Rataj had seven rebounds and four assists, in addition to putting up eight points.  

After a disappointing 0-3 performance at the Phil Knight Invitational last weekend, this conference-opening win is a big step in the right direction for this young Oregon State team.  

“We had everything kinda thrown at us in the second half, and we weren’t gonna relent,” Tinkle said. “Just super proud of the guys for finding a way to get it done. They really earned this one.”  

With the result, the Beavers are now 1-0 in PAC-12 play. Next up they will head to southern California to take on the USC Trojans on Sunday at 4 p.m.