A loss to a winless opponent would have been difficult for Oregon State to swallow - but the Beavers prevailed, and now have their sights set on rising above the .500 mark as they host Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon. Oregon State earned a seventh-place finish at the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando, fending off a furious Marist rally to upend the Red Foxes 65-46.
It took a sensational defensive effort to prevail in the tournament finale as Oregon State shot just 5-of-15 from 3-point range while committing 16 turnovers in a far-from-picturesque performance against Marist. “It was huge for our young team,” Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said afterward. “I was really proud of our guys’ mental approach of staying disciplined defensively for 40 minutes.” Oregon State will need to produce that kind of defensive effort again as it matches up against a Loyola team that has scored 80 or more points in four of its first six games. Eli Scott’s 17 points and seven rebounds guided the Lions past Division II foe Cal State-Los Angeles 87-66 last time out.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT (4-2): With six freshmen and four sophomores on the roster, every game early in the season is a learning experience for the Lions - and it hasn’t taken them long to develop a healthy offense. James Batemon (14.8 points per game) leads four Loyola players averaging at least 12 points; he had just seven points in the win over Cal State-LA but contributed 12 assists and seven rebounds in his most complete game of the season. Scott averages 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds and already has a pair of double-doubles. And Loyola has a true wild card in 7-3 Swedish center Mattias Markusson, who had 14 points and eight rebounds versus Cal State-LA.
ABOUT OREGON STATE (3-3): Beavers leading scorer Tres Tinkle has seen his average dip from 20.2 points a season ago to 18.2 so far in 2017, but every other metric is trending upward; he’s shooting more than three percentage points better from the field through six games, and has already connected on 11 3-pointers after making just four all of last season. Stephen Thompson Jr. adds 16 points per game but was limited to nine points on 4-of-11 shooting in the win over Marist. Junior forward Drew Eubanks contributes 14.8 points and seven rebounds per contest; he converted 5-of-6 shots from the field last time out and hasn’t shot below 50 percent in any game this season.
1. Tinkle has just seven turnovers in three games since committing seven in a Nov. 18 win over Long Beach State.
2. Oregon State averages a whopping 23.3 fouls per game; only 16 schools average more.
3. Neither team shoots the 3-pointer well; Loyola is at 28.5 percent from long range (325th nationally) while Oregon State is at 27 percent (334th)
PREDICTION: Oregon State 76, Loyola Marymount 62