PORTLAND — Another incomplete effort Saturday night produced a second straight loss for Oregon State, which won’t have much time to regroup.
Poor shooting, a season high in turnovers for the second time in as many games and defensive breakdowns were key factors in the Beavers’ 67-64 men's basketball defeat to Texas A&M in the Dam City Classic at Moda Center.
OSU (6-3) will have no choice but to flush that one and move on as it hosts Pepperdine (6-5) at 7 p.m. Monday at Gill Coliseum.
Despite all their shortcomings Saturday, the Beavers still had a chance at the end.
Oregon State had all the momentum after a late 7-1 run — capped by Ethan Thompson’s 3-pointer with 5:19 left — put the Beavers ahead 57-56.
But Texas A&M (4-4) had its own hot stretch, one that OSU couldn’t fully recover from.
The Aggies took control with nine straight points in an 85-second stretch.
Texas A&M’s TJ Starks made one of two free throws with 3.2 seconds, and OSU’s Stevie Thompson was off on a heave near halfcourt just before the buzzer.
Ethan Thompson had 20 points to lead the Beavers (6-3). Tres Tinkle added 17 points and six rebounds and Alfred Hollins eight points and 10 rebounds.
Starks had 18 points and eight assists for the Aggies.
Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said he was disappointed but still optimistic.
“I still think this team has got some really good potential,” he said. “I know we talk about talent. But talent without production, that’s all it is, is potential. We’ve got to get to where as we continue to move forward, we can put it all together and have our guys really respond and operate at their top levels all on the same night and we’ll see better results.”
OSU had 19 turnovers after committing what was a season-high 17 in last Sunday’s 65-61 loss at Saint Louis.
The Beavers shot 21 of 61 (34.4 percent), their second straight mark under 40 percent. That included 8 of 27 (29.6) on 3-pointers, their third in four games and sixth contest this season below 30 percent.
Texas A&M shot 23 of 54 (42.6) overall and 7 of 17 on 3-pointers. The Aggies came in shooting 25 percent on deep balls for the season. The Beavers have allowed their last three opponents to shoot a combined 28 of 55 (50.9) on 3-pointers.
Coach Tinkle said he wasn’t satisfied with the defensive effort because the game plan wasn’t followed. The Beavers played loose on the ball in the first half, allowing the Aggies to get to the basket or have open looks from outside.
“I think that’s where a little bit of our lack of experience reared its head there at some key moments,” the coach said. “Saying all that, if we just shoot the ball OK instead of horribly then we’re shooting free throws to stretch it out to an eight-, nine-, 10-point win.”
Added Tres Tinkle of the defensive breakdowns: “It was just kind of communication through everybody. Our backline in our zone sees everything, so they need to communicate more. So we know where guys are at. And we just got to stick to our principles.”
Ethan Thompson provided another strong game offensively.
The sophomore point guard shot 6 of 12 from the floor (3 of 6 on 3-pointers) and has made 50 percent or better in the past four games. He’s a combined 28 of 45 (62.2) in that stretch.
“When I go out every single game, I just try to read the floor and take what the defense gives me as well as make plays for others,” he said.
Tres Tinkle, the team’s leading scorer this season, shot 6 of 17. Stevie Thompson, second in scoring, missed his first six shots and finished 2 of 11 from the floor with five points.
Tres Tinkle had six turnovers and Hollins five. Those two had five apiece versus Saint Louis.
OSU’s Kylor Kelley was active defensively in the opening minutes.
His two blocks in the first 90 seconds tied Scott Haskin (1989-93) for the school record for most consecutive games with multiple blocks at nine.
Kelley finished with six points, nine rebounds and four blocks. He has 31 blocks this season.
The Beavers won the rebounding category 41-31, including 20 on the offensive glass led by Hollins’ 11.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Ethan Thompson and Tres Tinkle early in the second half put the Beavers back in front after trailing by three at halftime.
The lead changed hands three times before Stevie Thompson finally found his range. The senior guard hit an NBA-range 3-pointer — his first basket and points of the game — with 12:36 remaining to help OSU pull even.
Warren Washington put the Beavers ahead with an offensive putback on the next possession.
Ethan Thompson’s two foul shots with 11:03 left got the Beavers back in front. A Hollins 3-pointer later gave OSU a 50-48 lead before the Aggies made a run.
Oregon State struggled to take care of the ball and get good shots, and Texas A&M turned that into seven straight points and a five-point lead.
Hollins ended that run when Ethan Thompson found him for a layin with 6:18 left.
The Beavers found some quick offense, as Kelley tipped in a teammate’s miss and Ethan Thompson hit a 3-pointer just 21 seconds later to put OSU up one at 57-56 and bring the announced crowd of 5,802 to life.
But that’s where the Aggies took over.