Ethan Thompson scored 11 of his 23 points in the final 4:31 of the game Saturday afternoon, helping Oregon State hold off a late threat from California for a 79-71 Pacific-12 Conference men’s basketball victory in Corvallis, Ore.
The win allowed the Beavers (15-8, 7-4) to snap a six-game losing streak against the Golden Bears and salvage a split of their two home games this week after falling 83-60 to Stanford on Thursday.
Cal (5-18, 0-11) remained winless on the road this season at 0-8 and lost its 12th in a row overall.
Oregon State led by six at the half and gradually put distance between itself and Cal early in the second period, going up 54-43 on a layup by Stephen Thompson Jr. with 13:09 remaining in the game.
The Bears then made a game of it, getting within 66-65 with still 5:57 remaining on a 3-pointer by Connor Vanover.
But Cal committed a turnover and missed a shot on its next two possessions, after which Ethan Thompson scored five consecutive points for Oregon State, including the 3-pointer that extended the Beavers’ lead to 71-65 with 3:45 left.
A three-point play by Justice Sueing and 3-point hoop by Vanover helped the Bears get back within 73-71 with 1:45 left, but they didn’t score again.
Meanwhile, Ethan Thompson helped Oregon State inch away with four free throws to cap his game-high scoring effort.
Ethan Thompson finished 8-for-8 on free throws as Oregon State won the game at the line, going 23-for-28, while Cal was just 10-for-12. He also found time to lead the Beavers in rebounds with seven and assists with six.
Stephen Thompson Jr. had 21 points, and Tres Tinkle 16 for the Beavers, who won for the third time in their last four games and improved to 9-3 at home for the season.
Sueing and Darius McNeill had 16 points apiece and Vanover 15 for the Bears, who were coming off a 73-62 loss at Oregon on Wednesday.
Cal led by as many as five points in the first half and retained a 32-28 advantage late in the period before Oregon State scored the last 10 points of the first 20 minutes.
Stephen Thompson Jr.’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer capped the late run to give the Beavers the biggest lead either team enjoyed in the half, 38-32.
—Field Level Media