Tres Tinkle scored 31 points, his 55th consecutive game in double figures, and the Oregon State Beavers barely made a first-half lead hold up in defeating the Utah Utes 81-72 in their Pac-12 matchup in Salt Lake City on Saturday afternoon.
Tinkle’s three-point play began an early run that gave Oregon State (14-7, 6-3 Pac-12) the first-half lead, and he always had the answer when the Utes tried to stage second-half comebacks.
Timmy Allen scored 24 points to lead the Utes (11-10, 5-4), and Sedrick Barefield added 19 points, 14 in the second half.
After a poor-shooting first half, which left Utah down 46-32, the Utes kept pushing, whittling the lead within six several times, only to see Tinkle have an answer.
After Allen’s layup cut the deficit to 71-67 with 2:13 left in the game, Tinkle nailed a 3-pointer to make it 74-67 with 1:43 left.
Minutes earlier, Barefield scored five straight points to get Utah within 60-55, but Tinkle scored off his own offensive rebound and teammate Ethan Thompson hit a 3-pointer to make it 65-55 with 6:58 left. Tinkle finished with six rebounds.
That came after a dazzling reverse layup from Allen cut the deficit to 53-47, but Tinkle scored five straight points to make it 58-47.
Thompson finished with 13 points and five rebounds, and Kylor Kelley added 13 points, six blocks and four rebounds for the Beavers. Stephen Thompson Jr. added seven rebounds.
Jayce Johnson had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Utes.
With the Utes slow to start offensively, at one point going more than nine minutes without a field goal, the Beavers made a 14-0 run to lead 23-9 with 9:32 left in the first half.
Tinkle’s three-point play began the run, and Antoine Vernon made five free throws along the way.
Oregon State shot 50 percent from the field for the half, and also went 18 of 22 from the free throw line. Utah was only 37.5 percent from the floor but made 11 of 16 free throws to stay as close as it did.
Oregon State shot 49 percent from the floor overall, while Utah’s strong second half left it at 43.1 percent overall.
—Field Level Media