Beavers take control late
LOS ANGELES — Oregon State took a big step toward possibly getting a first-round bye for the Pac-12 tournament.
The Beavers took control of Saturday’s game against USC in the final three minutes as they defeated the Trojans 67-62. The win moves the Beavers (179) into a tie with Arizona State for second in the conference at 9-5. More importantly, they solidified their chances of not having to play in the first round on March 13 in Las Vegas.
“It’s a huge win. It would have been a real blow to come on this trip and lose two and fall to the middle of the pack,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said.
Stephen Thompson Jr. and Kylor Kelley led the Beavers with 15 points apiece. Thompson Jr. did most of his work early, scoring 11 of Oregon State’s first 18 points while Kelley was a point shy of tying a career high set earlier this season against Kent State.
Oregon State trailed by 12 on Thursday night at UCLA before rallying and falling short 68-67. Saturday’s game on the other side of Los Angeles at the Galen Center was the opposite. The Beavers led most of the
Oregon State’s Ethan Thompson, right, is defended by USC’s Elijah Weaver, left, during the first half of an basketball game on Saturday in Los Angeles. way, but saw USC come back to take a 56-55 lead with 3:54 remaining. Oregon State though would regain control with 10 straight points.
“Defensively we were able to get rebounds and we were getting to their shooters,” said Kelley, whose dunk with 3:35 remaining put the Beavers up for good.
Oregon State missed three of its first four free throws but was 14 of 15 the remainder of the game, including a stretch
TIGHT D —