Thompson Jr. leads Oregon State past UCLA, 86-82
LOS ANGELES (AP) Oregon State has learned Stephen Thompson Jr. is worth waiting for. Even if it takes the entire first half.
Thompson scored all of his 23 points in a 55-point second half and the Beavers held on to defeat UCLA 86-82 Saturday.
''Stephen Thompson equals buckets. That's all you need to say,'' said teammate Gary Payton II, who added 17 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
''He might start off slow, but once he gets it going with the first two, I don't know what you can do with him. You have to contain him. He had a huge second half. I just kept finding him, trusting him, and I knew he'd come through for us.''
The Beavers led 68-52 with 5:31 to play, only to see UCLA storm back to 82-79 on Isaac Hamilton's 3-pointer with 30 seconds left. After Derrick Bruce made one free throw, Hamilton sank another 3 to make it 83-82.
Bruce was fouled again and, again, hit one free throw, but Aaron Holiday turned the ball over and Payton went the length of the floor for a windmill dunk that sealed it.
''I just put an exclamation point on the game,'' said Payton. ''We had a little trouble at the end. They got back within one. I just got my hand on the ball, came down, only two seconds left, put an exclamation point on it.''
Olaf Schaftenaar added 17 for Oregon State (18-11, 9-9 Pac-12), which finished in a three-way tie for sixth in the conference.
''Everything that could go wrong did, down the stretch,'' said Oregon State Coach Wayne Tinkle. ''They're throwing in (3-pointers), getting rebounds. We're turning the ball over, missing free throws. But we never faltered. We never doubted. We found a way.''
The Beavers made 12 of 24 from 3-point range, while holding the Bruins to 7-of-26 shooting from behind the arc. The Bruins missed their first 11 3s. Their first made 3-pointer, by Holiday, came with 9:36 to play.
Hamilton finished with 21 points to lead UCLA (15-16, 6-12), which lost for the seventh time in nine games. Bryce Alford added 18 points, while Thomas Welsh and Tony Parker scored 14 apiece.
''They got stops in the second half, and we didn't,'' said UCLA Coach Steve Alford. ''We scored 51 points in the second half, and we got beat. You give up 55 points in the second half, you're not going to win very many games.''
The Beavers appeared to take control with 12-consecutive points early in the second half, opening a 43-30 lead on Schaftenaar's 3-pointer with 14:44 to play. Then, Oregon State used a 10-2 run for a 68-52 lead with 5:31 to play.
Oregon State: The Beavers played without freshman Tres Tinkle for the second consecutive game. Tinkle, the team's leading scorer in games he started, injured his right foot during a Tuesday night practice at the Galen Center on the campus of Southern California. ...The Beavers' back-to-back 17-win seasons marks the first time they've accomplished the feat since 1988-89 (22-8) and 1989-90 (22-9).
UCLA: With two free throws with 3:35 left in the first half, Isaac Hamilton reached double-digits for the 27th consecutive time this season, the Bruins' longest streak since 2007-08, when Kevin Love scored 10 or more points in all 39 games. ...Senior Tony Parker was playing his final game at Pauley Pavilion, appearing in his 134th game as a Bruin, which ranks sixth on the school's all-time list. ...The Bruins graduate only one senior off their 2015-16 squad.
The Beavers hit their first four 3-pointers against Southern California on Wednesday night, taking an early 12-7 lead, only go ice cold the rest of the way. They were down 39-28 by halftime, and lost 81-70. Against the Bruins, the Beavers opened up by making 4-of-5 3-pointers en route to a 19-8 lead with 13:56 left in the first half. They proceeded to go scoreless for the next 7:01, enabling the Bruins to tie the score at 19. Coach Tinkle said his team responded differently on Saturday.
''It was a little bit of a mirror to the other night,'' said Tinkle. ''We start out making threes, then we can't score for a while. But our guys just stayed in there through it all. I'm really proud of them.''
With the win, Oregon State pulled into a tie for sixth place in the Pac-12 with a 9-9 record. Tinkle hopes the win means more basketball for his squad.
''It's a big win. It gives us a real opportunity for things down the road this year,'' Tinkle said. ''We obviously have to continue to play well in the (Pac-12) tournament, but this is huge for us.''
Oregon State: At Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
UCLA: At Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas