KENT, Ohio — Stevie Thompson did his best in the final minute to rescue Oregon State from its offensive struggles throughout, but he came up just short.
Thompson scored 14 points in the final 44 seconds Thursday — including a banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer — in the Beavers’ 79-78 loss at Kent State.
Thompson and Tres Tinkle had 25 points apiece to lead Oregon State, which fell behind by nine late in the game and saw its six-game winning streak end as it heads into Pac-12 Conference play next week.
“We didn’t make any shots when it mattered,” Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said in a radio interview afterword, noting Thompson’s late-game scoring. “We need some other guys to make some shots when the game’s on the line.”
Tres Tinkle added nine rebounds and three steals and Thompson had three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Drew Eubanks started slowly on offense but finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Beavers (8-4) held the Golden Flashes (6-6) to 39.3 percent from the floor, but coach Tinkle added that “our perimeter defense was atrocious. They got wherever they wanted to. We couldn’t get key stops when we had to.”
OSU shot 23 of 55 (41.8 percent) overall but just 6 of 23 on 3-pointers, including 1 of 14 in the first half.
After scoring just one point in the first half, Eubanks got more involved on the offensive end in the opening minutes after halftime.
He had six points in three-plus minutes to keep the Beavers in it. But the junior forward picked up his third foul soon after and went to the bench.
Seth Berger’s layin off a Thompson assist with 14:06 left gave OSU a 41-37 lead. But Kent State answered with a 9-0 run and never trailed again.
Tres Tinkle’s two free throws with 7:04 to go got the Beavers back within one.
But the Golden Flashes came back with a 9-3 run led by guard Jaylin Walker, who had 25 points. Teammate Jalen Avery added 17 points, including four first-half 3-pointers.
Kent State pushed its lead to nine before Thompson and the Beavers made a comeback in the final minutes.
Thompson hit four 3-pointers in the final 28 seconds.
OSU wasted a chance to gain ground at the free-throw line in a game that saw each team called for 27 personals. The Beavers were 26 of 36 at the line, including 2 of 7 in a three-minute stretch late in the contest, and Kent State was 25 of 32.
The Beavers, who host Colorado on Dec. 29 in the conference opener, had two of their 19 turnovers in the game’s final minute. They had a season-low seven assists, following their previous low of nine in their last game, Saturday against Saint Louis.
Eubanks, one of five players in the game to foul out, played 28 minutes. He shot 2 of 6 from the field, marking the first game this season he’s been below 50 percent.
The Beavers were without fellow big man Gligorije Rakocevic, who suffered a calf injury against Saint Louis.
OSU got a 69-50 home win against Kent State last year despite giving up 34 offensive rebounds and committing 24 turnovers.
Kent State was hosting a power conference opponent for the first time since 1978 and playing a Pac-12 game in its home gym for the first time ever. The Golden Flashes will return to Corvallis next season.
Thursday, neither team could break through offensively in the first half, with the teams combining to shoot 16 of 53 from the floor.
The Beavers used an 11-3 run to take a 24-19 lead. Seven of those points came at the free-throw line, where OSU was 11 of 14 for the half.
Four straight points by Tres Tinkle put the Beavers ahead 28-21. But the Golden Flashes scored the final six points of the half to close within one.
Tinkle had 13 points and five rebounds at the break. No teammates had more than four points.