Oregon State beats Saint Louis 63-60 for 6th straight win
By ANNE M. PETERSON
Dec. 17, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State is regaining the confidence they lacked last season.
The Beavers (8-3) won their sixth straight on Saturday night in the Dam City Classic, a 63-60 victory over Saint Louis. Tres Tinkle led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Oregon State held Saint Louis back in the final minute and got a key layup from Drew Eubanks, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds. The last time Oregon State won six in a row was during the 2004-05 season.
Coach Wayne Tinkle said the Beavers put"0 to 40" on the board before the game to put the onus on each player, whether "you play zero minutes or 40 minutes, everybody's got to be on the same page with the plan."
"These guys have been through a lot," the coach said. "There's a little bit of apprehension out there, I think a little bit of fear of failure, and the one way to rid ourselves of that is to just pin your ears back and give it everything you've got, and then things will fall in your favor and we'll develop that confidence and learn how to win again. We've done that here."
Oregon State finished 5-27 last season, and won just once in Pac-12 conference play.
The game against Saint Louis was back and forth for the final 10 minutes. Eubanks dunked for a 54-52 Oregon State lead, but Davell Roby's jumper with 4:41 left tied it.
Eubanks' left-handed hook put the Beavers back in front before Tinkle added a layup with 1:48 left. After Jordan Goodwin had a layup and a free throw to get Saint Louis within 58-57, Ethan Thompson made a foul shot but missed the other.
Eubanks' layup gave Oregon State a 61-57 lead with 21 seconds left. Roby made a pair of free throws to come within two but ultimately the Billikens couldn't catch up.
"Last year and years past, even this year in a couple losses, I think we would have forced those up," Tres Tinkle said about the final shots. "And it goes to a miss and a breakaway for the other team. I think we're learning our lessons and we're just going to try to keep doing it going forward."
Goodwin finished with a career-high 22 points for Saint Louis (5-6).
"We just didn't have our best game. Give them some credit — they finished it out," Saint Louis coach Travis Ford said.
Tres Tinkle has reached double figures in all 11 games this season.
Oregon State led by as many as 11 points early in the game, but Saint Louis closed to 18-17 after a 10-0 run capped by Goodwin's steal and layup.
Rashed Anthony's jumper with 3:52 left in the first half tied the game for Saint Louis. They took the lead with Javon Bess' short jumper from out front and padded it with D.J. Foreman's layup.
The Billikens led 29-26 at the half, led by Goodwin with 7 points.
Goodwin's 3-pointer pushed the Billikens' lead to 41-32.
Tinkle hit a 3-pointer and Eubanks added a layup to pull Oregon State within 41-40 midway through the second half. Goodwin's layup for Saint Louis held off the Beavers, but Kendal Manuel hit a 3-pointer from the corner to tie it.
Ben Kone hit a pair of free throws to briefly put Oregon State in front. The Beavers went back up 52-50 on free throws from Tinkle, but Jalen Johnson countered with free throws for Saint Louis.
The game was the second of a double-header with the Oregon State women, who downed UC Santa Barbara 74-49 in the earlier game. It was the first time the women's team had ever played at Moda Center, home of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Saint Louis: The Billikens won the previous two meetings in the all-time series with Oregon State, with the last meeting at the Far West Classic in 1966.
Oregon State: The six-game winning streak was the longest of Wayne Tinkle's tenure at Oregon State. He won five straight early in the 2014-15 season. ... Center Gligorije Rakocevic was seen icing his right ankle on the bench in the second half. The coach said he had no update on his condition after the game, but noted that Rakocevic was on crutches.
Saint Louis hosts Campbell on Tuesday before concluding the non-conference season at home against Southeast Missouri State on Friday.
Oregon State visits Kent Stare on Thursday, for the team's final non-conference game before opening the Pac-12 season at home against Colorado on Dec. 29.