Oregon State beats Arizona State 75-66 in Pac-12 tournament
LAS VEGAS (AP) Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 13 points and Oregon State moved a step closer to its first NCAA Tournament berth in 26 years by holding off Arizona State 75-66 Wednesday night in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.
The Beavers (19-11) and Sun Devils traded missed shots through most of the first half, combining to go 5 for 26 from 3-point range.
Oregon State, the No. 6 seed, began to hit a few while building a nine-point halftime lead and withstood a couple of Arizona State rallies in the second half to earn a spot in Thursday's quarterfinals against No. 3 seed California.
Arizona State (15-17) never fully recovered from its early shooting woes, ending a difficult first season under coach Bobby Hurley.
Gerry Blakes had 20 points and eight rebounds, and Savon Goodman added 14 points for the Sun Devils.
The Beavers appeared to be on good NCAA Tournament footing heading into Las Vegas, yet when it's been 26 years since the last time in the bracket, no need to take any chances.
And with fellow bubble team Monmouth failing to get the automatic bid in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, a second loss to the struggling Sun Devils would not look good on their resume.
Arizona State had one of its best games of the season in the teams' only meeting, shooting 59 percent while blowing Oregon State out 86-68 in Tempe.
The Beavers dominated early in the rematch, racing out to a 15-4 lead as the Sun Devils missed 14 of their first 17 shots.
Arizona State didn't get any better, finishing the first half with eight turnovers and seven field goals - on 26 attempts - while going 1 for 11 from the 3-point arc.
Yet at halftime, the Sun Devils were still within 32-23.
That's because the Beavers had their own shooting issues. They hit 10 of 30 from the floor and were 4 of 15 from 3-point range.
Arizona State made a couple of shots to open the second half and pull within six. Oregon State started to find the mark, too, and followed with a 7-0 run to go up 42-28.
The Sun Devils tried to fight back, pulling to six or seven a few times, but couldn't hit the big shot when they needed it as the Beavers stretched the lead.
Oregon State: The Beavers made 11 of 21 shots in the second half. ... Gary Payton II had 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals. His father, who played in the NBA from 1990-2007, traded words with a student behind Arizona State's band in the second half, but came away laughing after the student yelled something.
Arizona State: Goodman was 4 of 5 from the field the first half while the rest of the Sun Devils were 3 of 21. ... Tra Holder, Arizona State's point guard and scoring leader, had 10 points and seven assists before fouling out.
Oregon State moves on to face No. 3 see California in the quarterfinals.