Double overtime thriller ends in Beaver victory, 81-80

Jordan Pope (#0) attempts a three-pointer in the Beavers 81-80 victory against Troy on Nov. 10, 2023.
Jordan Pope (#0) attempts a three-pointer in the Beaver’s 81-80 victory against Troy on Nov. 10, 2023.
Sam Nicklous

With the game on the line, sophomore Jordan Pope called game by finishing at the rim and drawing the foul to hit the game-winning free throw against Troy on Friday night in Gill Coliseum.

“I had my speech all prepared if we lost,” head coach Wayne Tinkle said regarding not fouling at the end of regulation. 

“Taking the blame for it (the loss).”

With five seconds remaining in regulation, Pope sunk two crucial free throws seemingly icing the game as he put the Beavers up three points. 

Instead, Christyon Eugene hurled a pass down to Thomas Dowd who banked in a contested three as the buzzer sounded sending the game to overtime. 

In the first overtime, Pope once again saved the Beavers as they were down two with 10 seconds remaining. Pope’s heroics came in the form of a baseline fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 72.

Second overtime was filled with drives to the basket and fouls, as eight of the 17 points scored in the final period were from the foul line, including the game-winner.

With the game going into double overtime, three starters fouled out of the game. Jackson Fields and Christyon Eugene for Troy, and Tyler Bilodeau for Oregon State.

Bilodeau, who was tied for most points on the Beavers, fouled out with a minute to go in regulation. This would prove to be a crucial blow for the Oregon State squad as he only missed two of his nine shots and finished with 18 points.

Trojans star freshman Dowd had 22 points in the contest including a 5-7 showing from behind the arc.

Oregon State guard Dexter Akanno was on the floor for a game-high 48 minutes, which is the entire length of a regulation NBA game.

“I’m definitely feeling a little tired, a little gassed right now, but I think the coaches and staff do a great job of preparing us for situations like this.”

Akanno set the bar high for most minutes played in a single game, as no one in Division 1 basketball has played more minutes in one game than Akanno has this season.

“Dexter did a great job, ’cause I was mad at myself going into overtime, and Dexter said, ‘We’re good, we’re good we’re gonna get this,’. Going into the second overtime, ‘This is us, let’s have some fun, we got this.’ So the leadership these guys have shown keeping everybody up that’s the big thing. They took the momentum from us by sending it to overtime, these guys wouldn’t let us lose it and I’m proud of them for that,” said Tinkle.

The first half was plagued with turnovers by both teams and was a story of runs. The Beavers went on an eight-point run, and then Troy rebutted with a 10-point run. 

OSU was able to secure an eleven-point lead which was quickly diminished by Troy as they ended up taking the lead near the end of the first half. 

The teams went into the locker rooms tied at 32. 

The Trojan bench severely outperformed the Beavers bench in the first half 21-3. In the second half, the bench picked up the slack, as the Beavers outscored the Trojans 10-4 in bench points in the second half and overtime.

Starter Christian Wright led the way for the Beavers with 10 points at the half, while Tayton Conorway came off the bench to lead the way for the Trojans with 11 points. 

Conorway would be held scoreless in the second half only attempting three shots in the final 30 minutes.

The Trojans (1-2) have a long flight ahead of them, as they head back to their home state of Alabama to face Reinhardt at home on Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

The Beavers (2-0) continue their home stand with Appalachian State on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in Gill Coliseum.

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