LAS VEGAS — Oregon State had a penchant for finding ways to lose instead of win for most of the regular season. If the opposing team hit a big shot or one of the Beavers missed a key free throw, they would slump their shoulders and watch the other team walk off with a victory.
With a chance to move on in the Pac-12 tournament, Oregon State found a way to make the big plays down the stretch.
Drew Eubanks scored 19 points, Stephen Thompson Jr. added 14 and the Beavers outlasted Washington 69-66 in overtime on Wednesday night in the opening round of the tournament.
“We said at halftime: ‘Guys, when we make mistakes and we coach you and get after you, you can’t drop your chins,’” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “That’s part of developing toughness and maturity. And I thought the second half we really did that. That was the difference.”
Oregon State went up 66-64 in overtime on Tres Tinkle’s two free throws and Washington tried to set up a shot to tie, but David Crisp threw the ball out of bounds. Eubanks hit 1 of 2 free throws and Crisp scored on a layup with 3.1 seconds left to pull the Huskies within two.
Tinkle hit two more free throws with 2.5 seconds left and Crisp got a good look at a tying 3-pointer, but it caromed off the back of the rim.
Oregon State (16-15) moves on to face No. 2 seed Southern California in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
“It’s definitely a great feeling so far,” Thompson said. “We know we have a lot of work to do in order to accomplish what we want to accomplish.”
Matisse Thybulle had 19 points and Noah Dickerson 15 points as Washington (20-12) saw its slim NCAA Tournament hopes all but disappear.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to Oregon State,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “I mean, they battled, they made the plays down the stretch that you had to make. I mean, the bottom line is this is a championship-level conference and a great environment. They beat us in overtime. It was a heck of a game.”
Washington made a strong NCAA Tournament push with consecutive wins over Arizona and Arizona State in early February. But the Huskies fell away from the NCAA bubble with a stretch of four losses in five games, including a double-overtime setback at Oregon State.
Washington won two of its final three games, but needed a strong run in the Pac-12 tournament to have any NCAA shot.
COLORADO 97, ARIZONA STATE 85
Tad Boyle ran out onto the floor to break up a late-game scuffle and came back limping. The Colorado coach initially thought he might have torn his Achilles’ tendon, though the team doctor believes it to be a calf injury.
Whatever it is, Boyle will deal with it. His Buffaloes are moving on in the Pac-12 tournament after hurting Arizona State’s NCAA Tournament hopes, and that’s all that matters.
“I felt like I got shot in the calf,” Boyle said following Colorado’s 97-85 victory over Arizona State in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday. “I hope it’s not my Achilles. It’s a tough blow, tough one. I’ll take it. I’ll sacrifice my Achilles for the win, though.”
Led by talented freshman point guard McKinley Wright IV, the Buffaloes (17-14) shot their way past Arizona State and put a dent in the Sun Devils’ NCAA Tournament chances.
STANFORD 76, CALIFORNIA 58
Getting the ball to Reid Travis early is the key to Stanford’s offensive success. He gets a few baskets, the opposing team has to adjust and the Cardinal can play free and easy.
They sure did against rival California.
Travis triggered a quick start, finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, and led Stanford in a 76-58 rout over Cal in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday.
“Reid is always going to be a focal point of the defense, for good reason, because he’s a focal point of our offense as well,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. “When he gets going, it certainly draws attention to him. When that happens, it kind of frees some of the other guys up as well.”
Stanford (18-14) shot well early to build a double-digit lead and shut the Bears down defensively to earn a spot in Thursday’s quarterfinals against fourth-seeded UCLA.
The Washington State-Oregon game was in progress at press time. The Cougars led 24-17 at halftime.