CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Defense leads to offense, and after first half scoring droughts, Oregon State wanted to get out and attack on the fast break, said guard Stephen Thompson Jr.
“The focus was to keep getting stops so we’d have those transition opportunities,” he added.
Thompson scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half and Oregon State cruised to a 76-57 win over Colorado on Friday night in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Tres Tinkle had 23 points, six assists and three steals and Ethan Thompson added 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Beavers (9-4).
“I thought that was as active and aggressive defensively as we’ve been all year,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said.
“We’ve been waiting for that. That’s how we want to play,” he added.
Tyler Bey scored 14 points and McKinley Wright IV added seven points, six rebounds and six assists for the Buffaloes (8-5), who have lost four of their last five.
“We weren’t good enough in any phase of the game tonight,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said.
Oregon State shot 51.9 percent, compared to 34.5 percent for Colorado.
The Beavers forced four turnovers early, and jumped out to an 8-0 lead after a Tinkle slam. The Beavers’ first four field goals were dunks.
Colorado briefly led 23-22 after a 9-1 run, capped by two Dominique Collier free throws. But Oregon State went on a 10-0 surge to close the half, with Tinkle and Ethan Thompson doing all the scoring.
Oregon State pushed the lead to as many as 23 points during the second half, with Stephen Thompson Jr. leading the way. The junior guard leaked out for lay-ups, carved through the lane for floaters and hit three 3-pointers.
Colorado: The Buffaloes last true road win was a 60-52 victory over Oregon State in Gill Coliseum on Feb. 16, 2017. . Wright, a freshman, had scored in double figures in every game of his college career and entered Friday leading the team averaging 17 points and 4.7 assists per game.
Oregon State: The Beavers won their sixth straight at Gill Coliseum. . Center Drew Eubanks finished with seven points, nine rebounds and six blocks. Eubanks shares the school’s single-game blocks record (seven).
HEAVY RUN: The Thompson brothers and Tres Tinkle each played 34 minutes or more, which was a concern for their coach. Wayne Tinkle said he needs more production off the bench, especially if the team is in attack mode. “We can’t play guys the minutes we’ve that been playing if we’re going to continue to play this style. If we have to shorten the bench, then we’ll have to slow things down,” the coach said.
TURNOVERS: Boyle pointed to poor passes and other issues as a major factor in the loss. “We turned the ball over 18 times against the zone. It boggles my mind, but we did it,” he added. “In the first half, those runs were the result of our turnovers.”
Colorado plays at Oregon on Sunday.
Oregon State hosts Utah on Sunday.
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