Oregon State stifles Washington State 62-47
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) The Oregon State Beavers lack depth, scoring and experience. What they do not lack is heart.
''They're playing their butts off. Really dialed in defensively,'' first-year coach Wayne Tinkle said after the Beavers held red-hot Washington State to 29.2 percent shooting from the floor in a 62-47 triumph Saturday night at Beasley Coliseum.
Junior guard Langston Morris-Walker posted career highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Beavers (12-5, 3-2 Pac-12). Morris-Walker said Tinkle has inspired the troops in Oregon State's best start since going 15-2 in 1989-90.
''He always preaches, `If we're going to lose, it's not going to be because the other team played harder than us,''' Morris-Walker said.
Oregon State's zone defense gave the Cougars (9-8, 3-2) fits in their first outing since Thursday, when they scored 108 points in an overtime win against Oregon. WSU scored 10 fewer points in Saturday's entire game than they scored in the first half Thursday.
''They did a good job of executing that (defense),'' Washington State star DaVonte Lacy said after scoring all of his team-high 16 points in the second half.
''Coach Tinkle, I like to think of him as a defensive guru,'' Morris-Walker said. ''Him and his staff are great with us defensively.''
The Beavers shot 48.8 percent from the field, outrebounded WSU 37-22 and had a 24-12 advantage in points in the paint. Oregon State silenced a season-high crowd of 5,116 by scoring the first six points of the first half and the first eight points of the second half. Lacy was slowed by a bruised right knee he suffered late in the Oregon game.
''Oregon State did an excellent job,'' WSU coach Ernie Kent said. ''They are very well coached.''
The Beavers led from the opening basket. The Cougars trailed 25-16 at the half, and when they narrowed Oregon State's lead to 46-39 with 4:57 to go, Morris-Walker quickly answered with a 3-pointer. Morris-Walker scored 19 points in the second half.
''Langston hit some big, big 3s for us,'' Tinkle said. ''Super proud of him, and he earned it. He defended his tail off, rebounded well.''
Tinkle said the Beavers stress the need for guards to rebound well when playing zone defense. Gary Payton, a 6-foot-3 guard, led the Beavers with 13 rebounds. He also had 13 points and a game-high five steals.
''Gary is an unbelievable rebounder,'' Tinkle said.
''Gary is one of the best rebounders I've ever played with,'' Morris-Walker said. ''Any position.''
Kent praised the ''tremendous'' crowd support, but the coach said his young team was ''just not back where they needed to be'' mentally after the thrilling victory over Oregon.
Oregon State: The Beavers have won four consecutive games against Washington State for the first time since a four-game run from 1999-2001.
Washington State: The Cougars, who were riding a three-game winning streak, have already tied their conference wins total from a year ago, and they're just one shy of last season's overall victory total. WSU finished 10-21 last season, including 3-15 in the Pac-12.
Gary Payton II leads the Beavers with 11.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game. The junior college transfer ranked second in NCAA Division I through Friday with 2.8 steals.
The Beavers, already short on depth and scholarship players, played their second game without sixth man Victor Robbins. He's serving a 10-game suspension for a violation of athletic department policy. Robbins is Oregon State's third-leading scorer at 10.3.
Oregon State hosts UCLA on Thursday.
Washington State visits Utah on Wednesday.