Oregon State men's basketball is doing what it can to put far in the rear-view mirror what coach Wayne Tinkle described as a “disappointing” effort in last Sunday’s loss at Saint Louis.
The best way the Beavers might accomplish that is by getting a win against Texas A&M on Saturday night at Portland’s Moda Center.
That would help OSU forget about a 65-61 defeat in which the Beavers (6-2) shot a season-low 39.3 percent from the floor and committed a season-high 17 turnovers.
Oregon State was unable to build momentum off a 101-77 home win against Missouri State eight days earlier in which the Beavers shot a season-best 60.9 percent, including a program-record 16 3-pointers.
“We should have had that game,” OSU’s Tres Tinkle said. “We had a lot of turnovers from, myself included, as well as three of four of the other starters. Missing shots that we normally make.”
Tinkle and fellow starting forward Alfred Hollins had five turnovers apiece and Ethan Thompson four.
A bright spot was the scoring of Thompson. The sophomore guard had a team-high 22 points and is averaging 20.7 points while shooting 66.7 percent in the last three contests.
Coach Tinkle said the game was disappointing in that “we prepared for a physical game and didn’t respond real well.”
The Beavers won the rebounding category, 37-36, led by Thompson’s career-high 11 and Tres Tinkle’s 10. But OSU’s unforced turnovers, shooting woes and an inability to close out on 3-point shooters caught up to the visitors.
Saint Louis was 21 of 50 (42 percent) from the floor, but the Billikens connected on 8 of 12 3-pointers.
Texas A&M (3-4) is hoisting a lot from deep but not making many.
The Aggies are 38 of 152 (21.7 attempts per game) beyond the arc. Their 25-percent success has them ranked 349 of 351 NCAA Division I teams. Oregon State is 56 of 166 (33.7).
Texas A&M has lost many of the key players that helped the program reach the NCAA Sweet 16 in two of the past three years.
The Aggies have four losses, but they’ve come against teams with a combined 34-8 record. Their three defeats outside No. 4 Gonzaga (94-71) — to UC Irvine, Minnesota and Washington — have been by a combined 10 points.
“They’ve got a young team but very talented so it’s going to be a heck of a challenge,” coach Tinkle said. “Physical but probably more athletic than what we’ve seen physically from like Saint Louis and Missouri. But a very good test athletically for sure.”
Sophomore wing Savion Flagg leads the team in points (14.6) and rebounds (7.3). Sophomore guard TJ Starks chips in 13.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and a team-best 3.7 assists.
The Aggies shoot 43.5 percent overall, 69.7 percent on free throws and have a season rebounding margin of plus-4.7.
Oregon State will play its sixth game in the Moda Center and seventh game in Portland in coach Tinkle’s four-plus seasons.
“We always love this game, that environment. It’s an awesome court to play on,” Tres Tinkle said. “Coming off a loss we know we have to bounce back.”