Oregon State tries to equal its longest winning streak in 15 years when the Beavers visit struggling Kent State on Thursday. Oregon State defeated Saint Louis 63-60 on Saturday for its sixth straight victory as it pursues its longest winning streak since 2002-03, and win at least nine of its first 12 games to start a season for the third time in four years under coach Wayne Tinkle.
”It wasn’t pretty,“ Tinkle told reporters after Saturday’s victory. ”But this team’s starting to build some stuff that we’ve been lacking and I‘m really proud.“ Oregon State, which went 5-27 last season, plays its first true road game of the season after going 0-13 in such contests in 2016-17. The Golden Flashes lost 81-69 to Northeastern 81-69 on Monday for their third straight setback, a slide that began with a 96-70 rout at No. 9 Xavier on Dec. 6. ”We need everybody to play well,” Kent State coach Rob Senderoff told reporters. “There’s very little margin for error. We have to have guys take ownership of their play and their performance. From this point out, every team for the rest of the season is going to be Northeastern good or better.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3
ABOUT OREGON STATE (8-3): Sophomore forward Tres Tinkle paces the team in scoring (17.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.0) while one shy of sharing the lead in assists, and is the only Beaver to score in double figures in every game this season. Junior guard Stephen Thompson Jr. (15.4 points, team-high 3.54 assists) is 11-for-25 from 3-point range in his last four games, raising his percentage from beyond the arc to 29.5 percent. Junior forward Drew Eubanks (15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds) helps Oregon State outrebound its foes by an average of 4.5 while freshman guard Ethan Thompson - Stephen’s brother - contributes 10.7 points and 4.2 points, and like Tinkle averages 3.45 assists.
ABOUT KENT STATE (5-6): Junior guard Jaylin Walker (team-high 16.4 points per game) scored 18 points and shot 7-for-14 from the field versus Northeastern in his second contest since missing three games with an ankle injury. Adonis De La Rosa, a 7-0 junior center, averages 11.2 points and 6.9 rebounds but totaled 10 points and 12 rebounds in the last three contests, fouling out twice and committing four fouls in the other. Junior guard Jalen Avery (10.2 points, team-most 4.4 assists) is averaging 15.0 points over his last five games, shooting 27-for-53 from the field during that span.
1. Eubanks was seventh nationally in field goal percentage (70.5) entering Wednesday, helping the Beavers shoot 48.4 percent.
2. Kent State is below .500 for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
3. Oregon State prevailed 69-50 last season behind 17 points from Kendal Manuel, who is averaging 3.8 points in 13.4 minutes this season.
PREDICTION: Oregon State 69, Kent State 50