Thompson scores 26, Oregon State tops Eastern Kentucky 74-62
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) With Oregon State’s star big man saddled with foul trouble early in the second half, Stephen Thompson Jr. said his team felt a sense of urgency.
”Everybody did a good job of stepping up. . I think it was a team effort,” Thompson said.
Thompson had 26 points, making four 3-pointers, and six assists to lead Oregon State to a 74-62 win over Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday night.
Tres Tinkle added 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Beavers (5-3).
”We’re making good progress right now. The wins haven’t been pretty, but we’ll take them,” Thompson said.
Nick Mayo had 15 points and nine rebounds and Asante Gist added 15 points for the Colonels (4-5).
”We’re a good basketball team that hasn’t found our rhythm yet, and once we find our rhythm, we’ll be hard to stop,” Eastern Kentucky coach Dan McHale said.
The duo of Thompson and Tinkle took control of the game after halftime, as the Beavers went on a 12-2 run to take a 43-37 lead. Thompson and Tinkle scored Oregon State’s first 22 points after the break.
Oregon State shot 55.6 percent and outrebounded Eastern Kentucky 34-26.
Early in the contest, both teams had scoring runs and droughts, but Eastern Kentucky went on a 9-0 surge thanks to three Gist 3-pointers to close the first half.
The Colonels led 35-31 at halftime.
”We gave up some runs, but we really did a nice job down the stretch to put it away,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said.
Eastern Kentucky: Mayo came into the game leading EKU with averages of 18.5 points and 8.4 rebounds. He had a streak of 40 consecutive games with double-digit scoring snapped against Western Kentucky on Nov. 29, when he had seven points. . Dedric Boyd added 12 points on Tuesday.
Oregon State: Center Drew Eubanks was limited by foul trouble on Tuesday, and finished with 10 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes. . Eubanks shot 10-for-10 from the field on Saturday in the Beavers’ 78-74 win over Loyola Marymount. He entered Tuesday third in the nation in field-goal percentage at .727.
McHale said the Colonels’ tough non-conference schedule will prepare the team for Ohio Valley Conference play. ”We’ve gone on the road and played an SEC team, two Conference USA teams, now a Pac-12 team,” he added. And there won’t be that kind of size that the Beavers had in the OVC, McHale said.
It’s Oregon State’s first three-game winning streak since February 2016, when the Beavers beat Utah, Colorado and Stanford.
Eastern Kentucky plays at Northern Kentucky on Sunday.
Oregon State hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday.