Etou, Tulsa hold off Oregon State 75-64
TULSA, Okla. (AP) Junior Etou scored 17 points and made two clutch baskets down the stretch that helped Tulsa repel a strong Oregon State rally for a 75-64 win on Tuesday night.
Junior college transfer Jaleel Wheeler added 16 points and Sterling Taplin and Pat Birt nine each in matchup of two of last year's NCAA Tournament participants which were hit hard by graduation. Tulsa (2-2) shot 45 percent and outrebounded OSU 38-23, led by Eton's seven boards.
Tres Tinkle scored 19 points for Oregon State (2-3), JaQuori McLaughlin had 12 points and five rebounds and Drew Eubanks added 10 points and five boards.
Trailing 37-22 after a tentative first half, Oregon State asserted itself early in the second, opening with a 17-3 run to pull within 40-39 on a 3-pointer by Kendal Manuel.
Tulsa regained some control with a 7-0 run by Taplin, who made a 3-pointer, a free throw and then a steal and layup to push the lead back to 53-44. OSU kept chipping away and was within four when Etou answered with a 3-pointer from the left corner, then a layup on a nifty assist from Taplin, giving Tulsa a 67-58 advantage with 2:50 left.
''I think what we did was we shot quick shots early in the second half,'' said Tulsa coach Frank Haith. ''We got out of character on offense in the second half. They have good players and they made some shots, they got their rhythm and they got confidence, but I'm proud of how we bowed our backs and didn't falter.''
Tulsa opened the big halftime lead despite using 12 players and changing lineups constantly. Seven players made at least one 3-pointer in the half, eight scored and Tulsa limited the Beavers to 39 percent shooting (9-23).
''I'm proud of the way we battled back,'' said OSU coach Wayne Tinkle. ''They had 25 free throws to eight for us and had a big edge on the boards. We played with much more purpose in the second half and that's the way we need to play, with passion, energy and purpose. I didn't see that in the first half.
Oregon State: The Beavers lost eight players who had played in a combined 622 games at OSU. Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle admitted he peeled a little paint with his halftime and post-game sermons in reminding his young team of the passion and intensity it needs to demonstrate on a consistent basis.
''We were acting way too cool,'' Tinkle said. ''That's not how you play at Oregon State and these young guys need to learn that.''
Oregon State was without guard Stephen Thompson Jr., out with a leg injury.
Tulsa: The Hurricane are replacing 10 seniors and have just five players who were on the roster last year, including two who sat out (TK Edogi redshirted and Etou was a transfer from Rutgers).
''With 10 new players, it's all about practicing, working to get better,'' Haith said. ''We've got some high character guys who want to work and it's showing.''
NEWCOMERS COME UP BIG
Not only did Wheeler score 16 points, but freshman center Will Magnay replaced Edogi and fellow freshman Martins Igbanu at center for most of the final 10 minutes, making 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch, grabbing four rebounds and coming up with two blocks.
''It's nice to have the three of them and go with who has the hot hand,'' Haith said. ''Will has a big body, knows the game and has a lot of upside. Plus he'll be about an 80 percent free throw shooter. It's good to have him in there when they're fouling to get back in the game.''
Oregon State: returns home for games Friday against Fresno State and Monday against Southern Oregon.
Tulsa: visits crosstown rival Oral Roberts Monday. Haith's teams have yet to defeat ORU in two previous meetings.