Beavers Top Bruins, Stay Perfect at Gill
Oregon State’s incredible home-court run continued unabated on Thursday night as the Beavers knocked off UCLA 66-55 to remain undefeated at Gill Coliseum.
The Beavers (13-5, 4-2 Pac-12) improved to 11-0 at home, equaling their best start since the 1981-82 team won all 11 of its home games. They have now defeated UCLA three times in a row at Gill Coliseum for the first time since 1989-91.
Junior guard Gary Payton II had 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals in leading the Beavers to their fourth win in their last five games. He had 15 points five rebounds and four steals in the first half alone.
Sophomore guard Malcolm Duvivier went 8-of-8 from the line in the closing 54 seconds, scored 19 points overall and added six rebounds and five assists before an energized crowd of 6,024.
The Beavers shot 51 percent (22-43) from the field, hit 16 of 18 free throws and limited the Bruins (11-8, 3-3) to 31 percent shooting overall (19-62) and 24 percent (6-25) from 3-point range.
The Beavers have limited their last five opponents to an average of just 19 first-half points and they hit that mark exactly on Thursday while building a 29-19 intermission advantage. UCLA made just 7 of 30 total shots and was 1-for-11 on 3-pointers in the first half
OSU led 47-30 with 9:28 to play, then withstood a Bruin comeback that drew them with two points at 52-50 with 2:35 to play.
“The last [five] halves have been like football scores,” assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb said. “Holding a team like UCLA to 19 first-half points is tremendous.
“We’re winning with our defense. A big part of that is desire. You talk about the effort level of these guys and it’s been tremendous, sacrificing and playing hard, physical basketball.
“We seem to work things out. Our offense adjusted in the second half, but we stymied them with our defense. You take away that little run they made at the end, they’re probably shooting 20 percent.”
Every time UCLA made a charge, the Beavers responded. JUnior guard Langston Morris-Walker had two big 3-pointers midway through the second half to help the Beavers establish a 17-point cushion. Junior forward Olaf Schaftenaar buried a crucial 3-pointer from the right wing to give OSU a 55-50 advantage with 2:12 to play.
“Some guys stepped up and made big shots,” Gottlieb said. “Langston didn’t have a particularly good first half but he hit a couple of big-time threes.
“Olaf hit a tremendous three, and we made our free throws. That’s the sign of a team that knows how to win. If we don’t make those free throws, it’s a while different game.”
Schaaftenaar added 11 points and four assists and Morris-Walker chipped in 10 as four Beavers reached double figures. The only starter who didn’t, junior center Daniel Gomis, had eight rebounds and three of OSU’s five blocked shots.
“Tremendous job," Gottlieb said of Gomis. “That really caught then off-guard when they got to the basket and Daniel was waiting for them. He did a tremendous job of having a presence at the rim.”
Duvivier (38), Payton (38) Gomis (35) and Schaftenaar (34) all played big minutes for the short-handed Beavers. Duvivier and Payton played the entire second half.
The Beavers next host USC at 3 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.