Pope, Beavers outlast Appalachian State in 81-71 overtime finish

Jordan Pope (#0) shields off an Appalachian State defender in 81-71 OT Beaver victory in Gill Coliseum on Nov. 14, 2023.
Jordan Pope (#0) shields off an Appalachian State defender in 81-71 OT Beaver victory in Gill Coliseum on Nov. 14, 2023.
Maya Kirschenbaum

The Oregon State Beavers hosted the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Gill Coliseum Tuesday night as they secured their second overtime win of the young 2023-24 season, 81-71. 

Mounting a late comeback in the contest, the Appalachian State Mountaineers began to close the gap established by the Beavers in the second half. With 1:40 remaining, Mountaineer forward Christopher Mantis hit an equalizing three-pointer to tie the game at 61.  

Moments later, Beaver center KC Ibekwe worked his way inside for a clutch contested basket down in the paint to put the Beavs ahead with time remaining for one Mountaineer possession. 

With one last chance to push the game to overtime, Mountaineer forward Donovan Gregory hit a second-chance buzzer-beater. Gregory finished the game with 17 points on 8-12 shooting. 

Beaver guard Jordan Pope found an early shooting rhythm in the contest and was the key factor in Tuesday night’s win scoring the first nine points for the Beavs on 3-3 shooting.  

Beaver center Chol Marial, made his first start since December of 2022, however, most of the late-game minutes went to Ibekwe.  

“We just need activity out of him. Rebounds and shot blocking. getting his buckets around the paint. . . Just bring some stinkin’ activity and the production will follow,” head coach Wayne Tinkle said on Marial. 

The Beavs put up a strong first-half shooting performance backed by Pope who shot 6/6 from the field. As a team, they shot 10-17 from the 3-point line. At the end of the first half, the Beavers led 43-32. 

Pope continued his impressive performance into overtime and finished the game with 25 points on 9 of 13 shooting including six three-pointers and seven rebounds. 

With just under eight minutes remaining in the contest, both teams were cited with technical fouls on a physical play between Beaver guard Justin Rochelin and Mountaineer forward Donovan Gregory.  

Nevertheless, the story of the game was in overtime as the Beavers marched away with the 81-71 victory on second chance points from forward Tyler Bilodeau and a few momentum swinging possessions from Dexter Akanno and Pope. 

“We’ve got our culture back and when we have our kind of culture and we’re healthy. . .we do good things,” coach Tinkle said. 

The OSU hoops team is now 3-0 to start the season.  

The Beavers will now head to the Sanford Pentagon and face Nebraska on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on Peacock. 

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