CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said his team showed grit and maturity, especially on defense, and especially when the game was on the line.
During a late timeout, he looked into his players’ eyes. “They were engaged and were like, ‘We’re getting this stop. We’re getting this win,’ ” Tinkle said.
Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and had five assists as Oregon State held on to beat Jacksonville State 70-69 on Tuesday night.
Drew Eubanks added 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and Tres Tinkle had 10 points and four steals for the Beavers (7-3), who won their fifth in a row.
Malcolm Drumwright had 20 points and five rebounds and Jason Burnell had 14 points before fouling out for the Gamecocks (7-3).
Oregon State led by one point with 17.8 seconds left and the Gamecocks inbounding the ball. But after a kicked ball, a deflection out of bounds, then a blocked shot off the court, Jacksonville State inbounded the ball with 1.5 seconds left on the baseline. Seven-footer Norbertas Giga missed a last-second shot for the Gamecocks.
“When we really dig down and try to get a stop, we can get a stop,” Thompson said.
Jacksonville State coach Ray Harper said he felt his squad should have won the game.
“We were right there with a chance. We just have to clean a few things up,” he said.
The first half was competitive and physical, with plenty of contact on drives and in general, including a bone-rattling screen or two. The Gamecocks led by as many as seven and went to the break up 36-33.
The Beavers opened the second half with a four-point play by Ethan Thompson that gave Oregon State its first lead. That was part of an 11-3 run that put the Beavers ahead 44-39.
Oregon State led 70-67 but committed turnovers on consecutive possessions with less than two minutes left. Jacksonville State trailed 70-69 after two Jamall Gregory free throws, but Gregory missed a layup the next time down the floor. Jacksonville State made a defensive stop against the Beavers, though, and had a chance for the win.
The Gamecocks came into the contest averaging 52.2 percent on field goals, which ranked sixth in the NCAA. But the Beavers held them to 42 percent shooting and shot 52 percent themselves.
Jacksonville State: The Gamecocks’ 7-2 start was their best through nine games since the 2012-13 season. . Jacksonville State, an NCAA tournament team last year, had seven different players lead them in scoring entering Tuesday’s game.
Oregon State: With a win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday, Oregon State surpassed its win total for last season, when leading player Tinkle missed most of the year due to injury. . The Beavers last won four in a row during the 2014-15 season. The last time Oregon State won six in a row was in 2004-05.
The Gamecocks’ last two losses have been by a combined four points, and both were against power-five conference teams. “Mississippi State hits a last second three to beat us (on Nov. 26). Hopefully we can learn from this and get better,” Harper said.
Kendal Manuel scored a season-high 10 points for the Beavers on Tuesday. He averaged 7.8 points as a freshman but had slumped as a sophomore, and was averaging 2.7 points entering the game. He hadn’t scored in five of the previous six contests.
Jacksonville State hosts South Carolina Upstate on Saturday.
Oregon State hosts Saint Louis in Portland for the Dam City Classic on Saturday.