The state of Washington beats the Beavers once again

KC Ibekwe (#24) taps the ball during the tip off at the men’s Oregon State University basketball game v. Washington at Gill Coliseum on February 10th, 2024.
KC Ibekwe (#24) taps the ball during the tip off at the men’s Oregon State University basketball game v. Washington at Gill Coliseum on February 10th, 2024.
Miky Pope

The Oregon State University Men’s Basketball team found themselves on the losing side to another Washington matchup against the University of Washington Huskies, losing 67-55 in Gill Coliseum on Saturday. OSU has lost the last three games against UW after losing their previous matchup to the Washington State Cougars as well.

“(We) really battled the other night, felt like we let it slip away and tonight you just gotta give them credit. They got after us and it took us too long to respond,” OSU Head Coach Wayne Tinkle said.

The moment the Huskies took their first lead, they held onto it tight. Oregon State never gained a lead the entire game. Shooting struggles gave the Beavers quite the obstacle in the first half, shooting 26% to Washington’s 50%.

Oregon State’s sophomore guard Jordan Pope particularly did not look like himself. He shot one for nine on field goals and only scored four points in the first. He gave a great effort to correct that in the second half, ending with 19 points, shooting 6/18 on field goals and making all six of his free throws.

“I wouldn’t say anything has changed. It’s just people gotta stay prepared and stay confident. But also gotta make sure when teams make adjustments we still have to find a way to find good shots, take good shots and knock down the shots,” Jordan Pope said.

Sophomore Michael Rataj was the only other Beaver in double-digit points, and also led the team with eight rebounds.

On the Washington side it was all about the duo of grad students Keion Brooks Jr. and Sahvir Wheeler. Wheeler provided over half of the team’s assists, recording seven of them. Brooks was the leading scorer of the Huskies with 23 points, and caught two nicely placed lobs from Wheeler for scores in transition. Brooks also made seven free throws and led the team in rebounds with nine.

In the second half Wheeler took a scary hit to his head when colliding with a teammate, leaving him on the floor. It appeared difficult for him to make it to the bench, but he was in the game minutes later.

The Huskies defense was the definite factor in their victory. Showcased by a terrific chasedown block on Pope by Washington’s Moses Wood in the first half, Washington obtained five blocks over the game to Oregon State’s lone block.
Washington held the Beavers to 22 in the first half, making the score 42-22. Oregon State then responded in the second, outshooting Washington 33-25, but not enough to put together a comeback.

“(I loved) the response out of halftime. For most of the second half the numbers show that, but we dug ourselves too big a hole unfortunately,” said Tinkle.

Oregon State only attempted two free throws in the first half, which contributed to their early deficit as well as their multiple scoring droughts. The Beavers had three scoring droughts that all spanned more than two minutes.

The emotions never managed to waiver despite the score. There were technical fouls by both teams in the second by Washington senior Braxton Meah and OSU sophomore Justin Rochelin.

The Beavers showed some signs of life in the second period, bringing the lead at one point from 20 to 11, but were never able to get into a single-digit game. The Huskies managed to out-hustle Oregon State in many crucial aspects, such as points in the paint 28-10, rebounds 38-32 and transitional fastbreaks 16-4.

“I think as far as this game and moving forward we just need to realize which spot we are at. If we can take these next couple games we could jump a couple spots in the PAC-12. I think that adds some more motivation moving forward for us,” said OSU senior Dexter Akanno.

Oregon State looks to start building back their momentum in their next match against the Arizona State Sun Devils in Desert Financial Arena on Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

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