Ethan Thompson’s 3-pointer with 1:03 left in overtime Thursday night put Oregon State ahead for good as it outlasted USC 79-74 in a Pac-12 contest in Corvallis, Ore.
Stephen Thompson Jr. put on a brilliant display for the Beavers (10-4, 2-0 Pac-12), finishing with 34 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. He hit two free throws with 18.4 seconds left to put Oregon State up 78-74.
Ethan Thompson finished with 13 points, and Gligorije Rakocevic came off the bench to chip in 10. Center Kylor Kelley rejected seven shots, helping Oregon State limit the Trojans to 42.4 percent shooting from the field.
The result spoiled a marvelous performance from Bennie Boatwright, who poured in a career-high 37 points on 14-of-24 shooting and also grabbed eight rebounds for USC (9-7, 2-1).
Jonah Mathews added 13, but it wasn’t enough to enable the Trojans to tie Arizona and UCLA atop the conference.
Oregon State forced overtime when Ethan Thompson put back a missed shot by Warren Washington with 18.5 seconds left in regulation to make it 66-66. Boatwright could have won it, but he left a 3-pointer short just before time expired.
The main storyline before the game was the absence of Oregon State’s leading scorer, 6-8 forward Tres Tinkle, who sprained his ankle in the second half of Saturday night’s 77-72 win at Oregon.
Tinkle is averaging 20.5 points per game, second in the conference, and ranks in the top 10 in rebounds, assists and steals.
At first, the Beavers struggled without their main man.
USC rattled off 10 straight points as highly-touted freshman Kevin Porter Jr., returning after missing nine games with a thigh injury, contributed a 3-pointer and a transition layup to help the Trojans grab a 20-11 advantage.
The lead reached 25-14 on Boatwright’s three-point play at the 10:58 mark, but Oregon State found traction.
The Beavers scored 18 straight points in just under 5 1/2 minutes and eventually took a 36-31 edge to the half despite not scoring over the final 3:15.
—Field Level Media