Payton powers Oregon State past Utah 71-69
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Oregon State freshman Stephen Thompson Jr. said that when he caught the ball with 2.2 seconds left, he tried to get as close to the basket as possible.
''The defender had jumped before I took off to shoot and I tried to get as much contact as I could,'' Thompson said.
The Beavers trailed 69-68 when Thompson was fouled by Utah's Brandon Taylor on a last-second half-court attempt. He made all three free throws.
Gary Payton II had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds as Oregon State made a furious second-half rally and defeated Utah 71-69 on Thursday night.
Thompson scored 13 points for the Beavers (13-8, 4-6 Pac-12).
Jakob Poeltl had 20 points and nine rebounds and Kyle Kuzma added 17 points for the Runnin' Utes (17-6, 6-4), who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Oregon State trailed by as many as 10 in the second half, but the Beavers went on a 9-3 run late, and a Jarmal Reid lay-in put the Beavers up 68-66 with 16 seconds left.
But Reid fouled Utah's Jordan Loveridge on a 3-point attempt with 2.2 seconds left. Loveridge sank all three free throws before Thompson was fouled with 0.1 second left on his desperation heave.
''You can argue either way about the last two (fouls), but you call it on one end, you gotta call it on the other,'' said Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle.
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said his team got sloppy, committed turnovers and lost their poise.
''There are a lot of mistakes throughout the course of the game. It's unfortunate that it comes down to one that's going to get magnified, but there's plenty to go around,'' Krystkowiak said.
The first half was back-and-forth and about midway through, Utah went on a 9-2 surge, fueled by three Kuzma lay-ups, to lead 27-24 with 9:01 left.
The Utes shot only 2 for 10 the rest of the half, though, and Oregon State went to the break ahead 35-31.
Utah repeatedly went to Poeltl down low to regain the lead. He scored seven of the Utes' first nine points in the second half. His jumper with 16:35 left put Utah up 40-39.
With 7:44 remaining, Poeltl made a lay-in, was fouled and sank the free throw to put Utah ahead 60-50.
Oregon State responded with a 7-0 run, capped by a Thompson breakaway lay-in and free throw after being fouled.
Utah: Poeltl has four straight 20 point games and was averaging 17.3 points and 8.9 rebounds on the season. . The Utes scored just 60 points per game in their first five league games, but averaged 85.3 points per game in their next four contests. . Utah leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense, giving up 67.7 points per game entering Thursday.
Oregon State: Reid, suspended four games after tripping a referee in Oregon State's loss at Utah on Jan. 17, returned to action on Thursday and scored eight points. . Payton was named one of 10 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which honors the nation's top point guard.
MONTANA CONNECTIONS: Krystkowiak and Tinkle played together at Montana. When Krystkowiak was head coach, Tinkle was an assistant. Tinkle later became head coach of the school.
TIMEOUT: During a second half timeout Oregon State rallied. ''We said, `Not tonight, fellas. We are not going to surrender at the moment of truth on this night. We are going to find a way.' The group that was in there just chipped away,'' Tinkle said.
Utah plays at Oregon on Sunday.
Oregon State hosts Colorado on Saturday.