Taylor leads Fresno State past Oregon State 63-58
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Jahmel Taylor had missed three shots in a row, but he stayed focused and found open spaces on the floor. Then he made his next five shots from beyond the arc.
''Once I hit the first one, I was ready to hit the next one. It felt good and my teammates were getting me in the right spots,'' said the junior guard.
Taylor had 21 points, shooting 6-for-10 on 3-pointers, and three steals as Fresno State held on to beat Oregon State 63-58 on Friday night.
Fresno State coach Rodney Terry called Taylor a ''marksman'' who kept the team afloat when they were struggling early.
''He can really shoot the basketball. We don't win the Mountain West a year ago if he's not making big shots for us,'' he added.
Paul Watson added 13 points and nine rebounds and Jaron Hopkins had 10 points for the Bulldogs (3-2).
Tres Tinkle scored a career-high 31 points with 10 rebounds and six steals for the Beavers (2-4), who lost their fourth in a row. JaQuori McLaughlin added 12 points.
''We're not very united. We've got a lot of individuals out there right now,'' said Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle, Tres Tinkle's father.
''We're just not playing hard enough. We're playing soft,'' he added.
The Beavers led 21-10 early, but Fresno State closed the half on a 17-5 surge, fueled by Taylor's four 3-pointers in the final three minutes. The Bulldogs led 27-26 at the break.
Fresno State took control with a 17-2 run in the second half, capped by a Watson 3-pointer with 10:30 left.
Cullen Russo was fouled with 35.7 seconds left and he made both free throws to give Fresno State a 61-55 lead. On Oregon State's next possession, McLaughlin made a 3-pointer but Watson was fouled and made both free throws to seal it.
Fresno State: Entering Friday, the Bulldogs were tied for ninth in the nation in steals, forcing 10.5 per game. They had 10 against Oregon State. . Taylor is now 16-for-28 on the season from long range (57 percent).
Oregon State: Stephen Thompson Jr. missed his fifth game in a row with a foot injury. Wayne Tinkle said Thompson, last year's third-leading scorer, could be out another week. . Drew Eubanks had five blocks for the Beavers.
AFTER A LOSS
Fresno State has responded to a loss with a win 10 straight times, and Taylor said Thursday's practice, which came after Tuesday's loss to Cal State Bakersfield, was ''very intense.'' ''After a loss, we make sure we buckle down,'' he added.
Terry said the Bulldogs had to bring defensive pressure up the court against the Beavers to try and neutralize Oregon State's height. ''They had a great size advantage and they had some really good players on the interior that we weren't going to be able to match up with consistently,'' Terry said.
Fresno State hosts Menlo College, a NAIA school, on Wednesday.
Oregon State hosts NAIA Division II foe Southern Oregon on Monday.