Oklahoma Bests Oregon State 77-69
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It looked like Oklahoma had its game against Oregon State well in hand, but the Beavers were surprisingly resilient.
Kristian Doolittle had 19 points and 16 rebounds, and the Sooners stretched their season-opening winning streak to three games with a 77-69 victory over the Beavers in the inaugural Phil Knight Invitational on Tuesday night.
Down by as many as 20 points in the second half, the Beavers closed to within six points in the final minute.
"Both teams competed really hard," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "In the second half, we got a little bit of a margin and then of course Oregon State did a great job of fighting back and finishing the game out."
Tres Tinkle overcame a slow start to finish with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Beavers (2-1).
After a close first half, Doolittle's 3-pointer gave the Sooners a 66-46 lead with 7:12 left. The Beavers showed some spark with a 7-0 run that closed the gap to 66-53.
Austin Reaves sank a 3-pointer that gave Oklahoma a 71-57 lead with 3:49 left and it looked like the Beavers were out of it, but Ethan Thompson's 3-pointer pulled them within 73-67 with 35.8 seconds to go. Ultimately Oregon State couldn't overcome the deficit.
"Great effort to try to fight back at the end there," said Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle, who said he gathered the team together with about eight minutes left to try and inspire a comeback.
Reaves finished with 17 points for Oklahoma, while Thompson had 17 for the Beavers.
It was Oklahoma's second-straight neutral site game. The Sooners were coming off a 71-62 win over Minnesota in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Saturday.
Reaves, who sat out last season after transferring from Wichita State, went into Tuesday's game averaging 17 points. Doolittle, meanwhile, is the lone starting senior for the Sooners.
The Beavers were coming off an 80-74 victory at home Saturday over Iowa State. Tinkle led the way with 27 points and 11 rebounds.
Tinkle earned the season's first Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after averaging a double-double in the Beavers' first two games. The 6-foot-7 Tinkle was an all-Pac-12 selection last season and explored early entry into the NBA Draft, but ultimately decided to return for his senior year under his dad.
The Sooners effectively shut him down, at least at the start, and he had just four points in the first half.
"Credit to them. Every team that we face is going to try to take me and Ethan out of the game," the younger Tinkle said.
Oregon State led by as many as five points in the first half after Thompson hit a pair of free throws to make it 19-14. But for the most part, the opening half was tight and Doolittle's jumper with a second left gave the Sooners a 33-32 edge going into the break.
Reaves' 3-pointer stretched Oklahoma's lead to 42-38 early in the second half but Thompson answered with his own 3 for the Beavers.
Reaves and Jamal Bieniemy made back-to-back 3s to put the Sooners up 50-41 with 13:07 left. Doolittle's 3-pointer stretched the lead to 55-43 with just under 10 minutes to play.
Fourteenth-ranked Oregon defeated No. 13 Memphis 82-74 in the earlier game of the double-header at Portland's Moda Center.
Oklahoma: The Sooners visited Oregon two years ago in the 16-team PK80 tournament at the Moda Center. The PK Invitational is a follow-up event that will run through 2021, honoring the Nike co-founder. ... Oklahoma has won six straight against Pac-12 opponents. ... Sooners freshman forward Jalen Hill returned after sitting out Saturday's game because of concussion protocol.
Oregon State: Tinkle's streak of seven straight games with multiple 3-pointers ended when he went 0-for-4 from the perimeter. ... The Beavers are now 0-5 all-time against Oklahoma. The last meeting before Tuesday came in 2000.
The Sooners were not happy with their lackluster first half. "We just realized, you know, we have to step up to win the game. We had some mental lapses during the first half — not talking about switches — and just realizing that, if we want to be successful, we have to lock in, be sound defensively, and just let everything else handle itself," Doolittle said.
Oklahoma: The Sooners return home to face William & Mary on Monday.
Oregon State: The Beavers head out on the road for the first time with a game at Wyoming on Saturday.