PORTLAND — Maybe it’s a good thing Oregon State men's basketball will play its second game in three days when the Beavers host Pepperdine at 7 p.m. Monday at Gill Coliseum.
It’s less time to stew over what went wrong in Saturday night’s 67-64 loss to Texas A&M at Portland’s Moda Center.
OSU (6-3) played its third game in 15 days Saturday, with lots of practice time in between. Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said his team wasn’t able to bring the habits developed in practice into the game with the Aggies (4-4).
So it was back to practice Sunday to prepare for a quick turnaround.
“I’m sure you’ll see some guys come out hopefully with their hair on fire a little bit to get the momentum back,” Tinkle said.
Oregon State had a good dose of momentum after a Dec. 1 home win against Missouri State in which the Beavers set a school record with 16 3-pointers while shooting a season-best 60.9 percent from the floor.
But that’s dissipated the past two contests, starting with a 65-61 loss at Saint Louis.
The Beavers turned the ball over against the Billikens 17 times, then a season high, and improved that in the wrong direction with 19 versus Texas A&M.
Tinkle said Saturday’s total was a result of “shaky ball-handling, dribble it too high, going to the rim out of control.”
On top of that, the Beavers shot under 40 percent for the second straight game while an opponent made better than 40 percent of its 3-pointers for a third straight contest.
Saturday, OSU used a 7-1 run to take a one-point lead on an Ethan Thompson 3-pointer with 5:19 to go. But Texas A&M answered with nine straight points and the Beavers couldn’t make enough plays to pull back even.
“We battled. We had some guys really battle to keep us in there,” Tinkle said. “It just came down to the little things that this young team still is trying to figure out , from jump stops, receiving the pass, meeting passes, boxing out, finishing plays, those sort of things.”
Thompson continued his recent stretch of strong offensive numbers. The sophomore guard had 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including three 3-pointers.
But the Beavers’ top two scorers, Tres Tinkle and Stevie Thompson, were a combined 8 of 28 for the floor with nine turnovers.
“We can’t have nights where two or three of our guys, it’s just not clicking,” coach Tinkle said. “We’ve got to get to where we’re confident and we’re clicking, and we’ll see different results for sure.”
Pepperdine also has little time to prepare for Monday’s game.
The Waves are 6-5 after a 78-69 overtime loss Saturday at Southern Utah. They got 24 points, four rebounds and seven assists from Colbey Ross. Fellow sophomore guard Jade Smith added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
For the season, Ross is the team's scoring leader at 20.3 points per game while also averaging 6.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Junior Kameron Edwards adds 17.7 points and 7.3 rebounds and senior guard Eric Cooper Jr. 12.1 points.
Those three players were the team's top three scorers last season as well when the Waves went 6-26 overall and 2-16 in the West Coast Conference.
Pepperdine is 0-3 on the road this season, falling to Northern Colorado (88-80), UC Riverside (75-71) and Southern Utah. Oregon State opened the season with a 72-59 home win against UC Riverside.
The Waves are coached by Lorenzo Romar, in the first year of his second stint at the school. He was Washington's head coach for 15 seasons, through 2017. He was Arizona's associate head coach last season.
Among Romar's assistants are Ken Bone, former head coach at Portland State and Washington State and a Washington assistant under Romar; and Curtis Allen, who played under Romar at Washington and was an assistant under Bone at PSU and WSU.