Oregon State hosted two unranked teams in UCLA and USC over the weekend going 0-2 in two very different fashions. UCLA provided some hope, losing narrowly in the final minutes of the game while keeping me engaged and glued to the screen all 40 minutes. USC not so much, running Oregon State out of the gym in the first ten minutes, but allowing me time to get much-needed chores around the house done.
Here are the “cheers” and “jeers” from a men’s basketball weekend full of tears.
Cheers: Zach Riechle’s Bounce Back Game
After an unfortunate weekend against Washington and Washington State that saw Reichle shoot a combined 1-8 for a total of three points, he came back nicely against UCLA, going 3-4 from beyond the arch, on his way to posting 12 points. Beyond his contribution of being the only Beaver to keep UCLA honest from outside, Reichle played tight off-ball defense, credited for two steals, and was regularly seen fighting for loose balls.
Jeers: Wayne Tinkle’s Late Game Adjustments.
There is a very good chance Wayne Tinkle’s defensive playbook is called, “Stay the Course” or “Maintain the Course” or “Remaining on the Course”, but whatever he wants to call it, it failed the Beavers against UCLA. The Beavers were able to take a late lead against UCLA on what essentially became an ever eventful free-throw shooting contest, but once UCLA’s Chris Smith, who was sidelined due to foul trouble, returned to the game, UCLA began running primarily through him against a struggling Beavers’ on-ball defense, allowing easy points in the paint and at the line.
Cheers: Kylor Kelley’s Interior Defense
Kelley is, arguably, the biggest key to any success for the Beavers this season. He not only leads the Pac-12 in blocks, but faced a UCLA squad Thursday that collectively trailed him in the category. Thursday against UCLA was par for the course, with Kelley collecting four blocks, increasing his Pac-12 lead to a country mile.
Jeers: Oregon State Cold Streaks
While the Beavers’ offense struggled mightily against UCLA, going for spurts without collecting a field goal, they were still able to contribute from the line. USC proved much different, with Oregon State going ice cold from the outside, they were forced to go to the paint, missing shot after shot, and saw themselves on the wrong side of a 13-0 in the early stages of the game, helping USC take a 22 point lead. After what looked to be a valiant effort to end the first half and start the second, Oregon State did it again, allowing USC a 14-0 run and essentially end the game with significant time remaining.
Cheers: Tres Tinkle’s Consistency
While his shooting has been up and down throughout the season—and it was ugly over the weekend—Tres will get to the line, he will make his free throws, and he will get you double-digit points. By making his first ten attempts from the line over the weekend, he extended his consecutive makes streak to an Oregon State record 35, finishing his weekend with a respectable 11-12 from the charity stripe. Tres also continued his consecutive double-digit point streak to 85 games by putting up 17 points in both contests. By doing so, he jumped Stevie Thompson for second place in the Oregon State all-time scoring list.
Jeers: Oregon State’s outside shooting
Buzz, your girlfriend, woof. That is really all that needs to be said, but I will continue.
Coming off a weekend in that saw the Beavers shoot 2-12 and 2-13 against Washington and Washington State, respectively, Oregon State came out hot going 3-5 in the first five minutes against UCLA. The Beavers proved that to be the exception and not the rule, going 2-11 for the remaining 35 minutes of the game. USC treated us to more of the same, with the Beavers desperately trying to make up for an early 22-point deficit, they put up 22 attempts from beyond the arch, making it look hard with only six falling. For those of you doing the math at home, that is a combined 11-38 (28.9%) over the weekend.