Tres Tinkle paves the way for Beavers in victory UTSA

Josh Enas, Multimedia Contributor

OSU overcomes first half deficit to earn second win of the season

The Oregon State men’s basketball team produced a strong second half showing on Sunday afternoon to outlast UTSA 72-64.

Sophomore forward Tres Tinkle put in a monumental effort for the Beavers, posting 26 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals—enough to lead or co-lead the team in each category. Freshman point guard JaQuori McLaughlin added 13 points—including some key shots down the stretch—in a game that proved to be a tale of two halves.

The game got off to a slow start. Fourteen combined fouls in the opening nine and a half minutes prevented either team from getting into an early offensive rhythm, but it was the Roadrunners who found their footing first. A 17-5 run for the visitors gave them some momentum midway through the first half, with senior guard J.R. Harris providing the hot hand.

Meanwhile, the Beavers struggled offensively. McLaughlin, who scored 12 points in Friday’s game, failed to convert any of his first six field goals; and the team’s carelessness with ball led to 12 points off turnovers for UTSA in the first half.

The Beavers finished the half trailing 37-29, shooting just thirty-three percent from the field and committing 11 turnovers.

“Offensively we weren’t really getting in a rhythm. We tried to make it an emphasis to pass the ball, and that was kind of missing,” Tres Tinkle said of the team’s first half performance, “They hit us around a little bit and we knew we just had to hit them back.”

Hitting back is exactly what the Beavers did in the second half. The team opened the half on a 14-4 run to take a two point lead that they never relinquished.

Tenacity on the defensive end also paid dividends for Oregon State. The Beavers produced six of their seven blocked shots in the second period, the finest of which came from junior Matt Dahlen, whose no-nonsense rejection prevented an easy layup for UTSA.

“[I want to] bring energy and do whatever I can… to facilitate,” said Dahlen when asked about his role in the team, “I take pride in that.”

He certainly accomplished that, as his intensity on the court was enough to earn him player of the game honors.

The Beavers increased offensive efficiency gave them a 58-50 lead midway through the half, but the Roadrunners made a push to close the gap in the following minutes. Freshman Giovanni De Nicolao provided the spark for UTSA. His layup on an elegant drive to the hoop, followed by his well-taken shot from behind the arc cut Oregon State’s lead to 63-62 with under four minutes to play.

It was the Beavers who would have the final say in the contest, however. McLaughlin provided some timely shots down the stretch—including a bucket from downtown and a strong layup in traffic—to all but seal the game for OSU.

Beavers’ head coach Wayne Tinkle was very pleased with the way his team battled back and closed out the game. He put special emphasis on the tenacity shown by the new arrivals on the roster.

“It’s invaluable experience,” he said, “To be able to bounce back… and play as tough of a team as we did, and to find a way to win says a lot about those kids’ character and the potential that we’re going to have once we put everything together here.”

The Beavers will look to make it three wins in their first three games on Wednesday, when they welcome the Lamar Cardinals to Gill Coliseum.

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