A month ago, Oregon State was 11-11 and appeared destined for another ineffectual season. Now, the Beavers are dancing to the Sweet 16.
No. 12 seed Oregon State knocked off No. 5 Oklahoma State on Sunday night, 80-70, moving on to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1982. The Beavers, picked to finish last in the Pac-12's preseason media poll, improve to 5-0 this postseason after winning the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.
Oregon State hounded first-team All-American and likely No. 1 NBA draft pick, Cade Cunningham, all night long. He shot 6-for-20 from the field in what's likely his final collegiate game, finishing with 24 points, four rebounds, assists and five steals.
Oregon State led virtually the entire game and was up by as many as 18 points. The Cowboys cut the deficit to two points midway through the second half, but the Beavers answered with a 10-2 run and finished the game strong, particularly at the free throw line. As a team, Oregon State shot 32-for-35 from the stripe.
Senior guard Ethan Thompson led all scorers with 26 points, shooting 5-for-11 from the field and 15-for-16 from the line to go along with seven rebounds. Jarod Lucas had 15 points and six rebounds, while Maurice Calloo added 15 points off the bench.
The Beavers forced the Cowboys into shooting 27.7% from the field. Oklahoma State forced 20 turnovers to help fuel its comeback effort, but Oregon State's composed play down the stretch and superb free throw shooting were enough to hold on.
Oregon State will face No. 8 Loyola-Chicago in the Midwest regional semifinals. The Ramblers knocked off No. 1 seed Illinois earlier on Sunday.
More NCAA tournament coverage:
- NCAA Day Three Recaps
- Forde: Loyola Chicago Slays Another Giant, But This Team's No Cinderella
- SI Bracket Challenge: Check Your Picks
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