Despite clawing back to lead in the final minutes after trailing by as much as 18 on Saturday night, Oregon men’s basketball’s comeback bid fell short in a 77-72 loss at home against Oregon State in the 2019 PAC-12 opener. Tres Tinkle led the 351st Civil War Series with 28 points on 9-13 shooting, while the Ducks were led by freshman Louis King, who tallied his first double-double with a team and career-high of both 17 points and 10 rebounds. Saturday was Oregon’s first game since the news of Bol Bol’s injury ending his season and Abu Kigab’s announcement that he’s transferring to Boise State.
While the Ducks ran out a new look in its starting five, both offenses started strong on Saturday night, with each side hitting above 50% of its shots from the field and getting contributions from four different players at the first media timeout. But without its twin towers of Bol Bol and Kenny Wooten down low, the Ducks struggled to protect the paint, where the Beavers racked up 24 of its first 38 points in the first half. Though briefly holding a lead, Oregon fell behind by as eight as the offense went quiet, missing eight consecutive shots, while Oregon State cruised to a 9-0 run until Ehab Amin steal and score sparked a five point offensive spurt. The defense held the Beavers scoreless for over four minutes but the momentum wouldn’t last long, as Oregon State finished the half on a 13-3 run in the final 5 minutes and 47 seconds and with a 38-25 advantage. Oregon State’s dominance in the post carried over to the game’s rebounding as well, where the Beaver’s took a +12 margin with them into the break.
Oregon State grabbed the first five points of the second half until the Ducks found some traction when Payton Pritchard got a three-point play from the foul line then hit a three after Amin stole the ensuing inbounds pass. But once again Oregon couldn’t carry the momentum with them. Despite quickly getting 10 points off of second chance opportunities and taking a strong second half advantage on the boards, Tres Tinkle and the Beavers offense continued to click, hitting over 50% from the field like it had in the first 20 minutes. Oregon began to lean on Paul White in the second half, who after posting just three points and no rebounds in the first half, finished the night with 15 and four. But the real change for the Ducks came on defense, where a furious full-court press forced the Beavers into 12 turnovers in the second half (and 19 on the night), including a 8-0 run from Oregon in under 30 seconds thanks to three consecutive takeaways. After Oregon finally took the lead back with under four minutes to go, each team traded baskets and free throws down the stretch to exchange one-point leads. But as White picked up his fifth and final foul, the Ducks just didn’t have enough as a contested heave from King fell short with less than 10 seconds to play and the Beavers closed out the game from the line for a 77-72 win. Oregon falls to 9-5 on the season and 0-1 in PAC-12 play. Next up is a pair of home games against UCLA and USC this coming weekend. Listen below to the team’s postgame reactions and a game story.
GAME STORY (by Matt Tyra)
Head Coach Dana Altman
Forward Paul White