Beavers take con­trol late

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By JOE REEDY

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

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