Beavers lose close game on opening night of Dam City Classic

Keenan Puncocher, Multimedia Contributor

The Oregon State men’s basketball team fell to Long Beach State Friday on the opening night of the Dam City Classic 71-67 in the Moda Center.

The Beavers (3-8) struggled holding onto the basketball from the beginning, turning the ball over 11 times in the first half; leading to 11 points allowed off turnovers for the 49ers (3-10).

Bench points also continued to cripple the Beavers as the team was outscored 21-6 in that category.

Both Thompson Jr and sophomore forward Drew Eubanks finished with 17 points a piece. In total, four Beavers posted double-figure scoring; the leading scorer of the bench was freshman forward Ben Koné with five.

“As wounded as we are, we’ve got to have guys step up and make plays,” said head coach Wayne Tinkle. “That is what has cost us at least four or five losses this season.”

OSU struggled offensively throughout the first half, scoring on just 37 percent of their possessions and managing only three assists as a team.

“In the beginning we struggled a bit offensively,” said sophomore guard Stephen Thompson Jr. “The main thing is that we need to move the ball around more and get more ball movement which will lead to better offense.”

Despite making four 3-pointers in the second half, going 50 percent from three, the Beavers were unable to match the hot shooting from the 49ers.

The Beavers allowed zero first half 3-pointers as Long Beach State went 0-6 from downtown. The 49ers quickly turned around their 3-point shooting, making two 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half; Long Beach State would finish with five made 3-pointers in the second half on 5-12 shooting.

“Don’t look at their record because they play an unbelievable schedule,” said Tinkle. “They saw us wounded a bit and came in here to get after us. It came down to them making plays and we didn’t.”

Long Beach State shot 95 percent from the foul line as they finished 20-21; shooting a perfect 17-17 in the second half. The Beavers struggled in comparison, shooting sixty-five percent and finishing 11-17.

The Beavers were able to move the ball around more proficiently in the second half, turning the ball over just three times, and assisting on six plays.

Eubanks scored a team high 13 points in the second half.

“My teammates did a better job of finding me and I tried to make myself more available,” said Eubanks. “I was able to get my right hand hook going, but it was mostly my teammates being able to find me.”

The Beavers are off Saturday before facing off against the University of Portland Pilots, Sunday afternoon back at the Moda Center.

“This is a great environment, our relationship with the Moda Center is awesome and this is a real treat for us to come here,” said Tinkle. “I thought our guys responded by and large to the environment and we’ve got to continue to learn and grow.”