Oregon State looks to match its win total from last season on Tuesday as the Beavers host Eastern Kentucky from the Ohio Valley Conference. Playing its first game without departed point guard JaQuori McLaughlin, the Beavers notched their fourth victory of the young season with last Saturday’s 78-74 win over Loyola Marymount.
McLaughlin left the team early last week and was granted his release to transfer, forcing coach Wayne Tinkle to adjust his starting lineup. Tinkle started senior forward Seth Berger in McLaughlin’s place and moved top scorer Tres Tinkle to small forward, with brothers Stephen and Ethan Thompson starting in the backcourt and Kendal Manuel and Ronnie Stacy receiving additional playing time. Tinkle averages 18.1 points and 7.9 rebounds to lead the Beavers, who went 5-27 last season but were encouraged after shooting 56 percent and withstanding a late comeback by Loyola Marymount. “Last year, we would have lost that game, so it was good to see,” forward Drew Eubanks told reporters.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT EASTERN KENTUCKY (4-4): The Colonels have three players scoring in double figures, including junior forward Nick Mayo (18.5), freshman guard Dedric Boyd (16.1) and sophomore forward DeAndre Dishman (11.4). Sophomore guard Dujuanta Weaver, thought to be lost for the year with a torn ACL, made his season debut in last Saturday’s 70-65 overtime win over Jacksonville and scored six points on two 3-pointers in 18 minutes off the bench. Mayo added 22 points and 12 rebounds and faces a key matchup against Eubanks, who is shooting 72.7 percent from the field.
ABOUT OREGON STATE (4-3): The Thompson brothers each scored 11 points in the win over Loyola Marymount and both will be asked to assume a larger scoring role following McLaughlin’s exit. Stephen Thompson, Jr., a junior from Los Angeles, ranks third on the team in scoring at 15.3 points per game but has missed 29 of his first 36 three-point attempts. The Beavers shot 2-of-13 from beyond the arc in last Saturday’s win and are shooting 20.6 percent from three-point range for the season.
1. Tinkle and Deandre Ayton of Arizona are the only two players in the Pac-12 ranked in the top 10 in the conference in scoring and rebounding.
2. Eastern Kentucky is shooting an OVC-best 78.1 percent from the foul line.
3. Oregon State is 36-9 under coach Wayne Tinkle when leading at the half.
PREDICTION: Oregon State 73, Eastern Kentucky 68