Beavers drop close game to Lamar

Josh Enas, Multimedia Contributor

The Oregon State Beavers men’s basketball team came up short in a hard-fought game versus Lamar University on Wednesday night.

A sensational individual performance from OSU sophomore Drew Eubanks—17 points, 18 rebounds, and six blocks—was not enough to overcome a sloppy team performance for the Beavers and keep them from falling 63-60.

With an astonishing 27 turnovers on the night, it is perhaps an accomplishment in itself that Oregon State managed to be in a position to tie the game on its final play. For all the Beavers’ carelessness with the ball, they still managed to make more shots than their opponents (23 to Lamar’s 20) and shoot 49 percent from the floor while holding the Cardinals to a mere 28 percent shooting.

Still, OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle pulled no punches when assessing his team’s performance on the night.

“[The Cardinals] were tougher than us mentally and physically for 40 [minutes],” Tinkle said. “We knew they were going to climb up into us, we knew they were going to be physical and we lost the fight. Our teams don’t lose fights. Shame on us.”

For Drew Eubanks, an excellent personal stat line was no consolation for the defeat.

“We were soft. I just need to step up as a leader. I need to step up and lead our guys because I’m one of the more experienced guys on the team,” said Eubanks.

For Oregon State, it was their defensive organization that kept them neck-and-neck with the visitors for most of the game. A tenacious zone defense from the Beavers stymied Lamar’s offense for much of the opening period, and the Cardinals went into the half with only a 29-25 lead after shooting 11 of 39.

Unfortunately for the Beavers, their struggle with turnovers continued well into the second half; and their opponents were able to open up a 12-point lead early on.

A timeout gave OSU a chance to catch their second wind, however; and they responded with 12 unanswered points of their own, with freshman point guard JaQuori McLaughlin providing the spark on offense and defense.

The new addition to the Beavers’ backcourt produced 15 points on 6-10 shooting; but, like many of his teammates, had more turnovers than assists.

Like his coach and team captain, McLaughlin also addressed the Beavers’ lack of toughness after the game.

“[We need to] come out from the jump with the mindset that we’re going to go harder than the other team—not let them come at us, we’ve got to go at them,” McLaughlin said.

Wednesday night’s 27 turnovers means that OSU is averaging more than 20 turnovers per game through three contests this season, a glaring weakness in a young squad, and a weakness that is unacceptable in coach Tinkle’s eyes.

“I don’t care how inexperienced we are, there’s no excuse for that,” said Tinkle. “We’ve got to be a lot better. Hopefully it gets our guys’ attention and they’ll be a lot tougher.”

From here, the Beavers will set out on their first road trip of the season. A game against Nevada on Friday night followed by a game against Tulsa next Tuesday will give Tinkle’s squad a chance to prove themselves away from home. Oregon State will then return home to welcome the Fresno State Bulldogs to Gill Coliseum on Friday, November 25, at 6 P.M.