CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said games at Oregon State have gone down to the wire, with both teams fighting tooth and nail.
It was no different on Sunday with a late turnover preserving a 66-64 win for Utah State. The Utes’ defense caused a lengthy second-half scoring drought for the Beavers and came up with the late stops that eluded the squad in the last two seasons.
“We just locked in, and there was a nice blend of zone and man,” Krystkowiak said.
Justin Bibbins scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and six assists as Utah held on late to beat Oregon State.
“We’re going to play every game with a chip on our shoulder,” said Bibbins, a point guard and graduate transfer who played for Long Beach State last season.
David Collette added 12 points for the Utes (10-3, 2-0 Pac-12), who were helped out by a game-saving Oregon State turnover with 1.4 seconds on the clock.
Tres Tinkle had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists and Stephen Thompson Jr. added 13 points for the Beavers (9-5, 1-1).
The Beavers led by six in the second half when Utah went on a 16-2 run, capped by a Sedrick Barefield free throw with 3:37 left, to go ahead 63-55. The swarming Utes defense held the Beavers without a field goal for eight minutes.
Oregon State promptly responded with a 7-0 surge, capped by an Alfred Hollins dunk, to trail 63-62 with a minute remaining.
Bibbins was fouled in the lane on Utah’s next possession and sank both free throws. With 27.5 seconds left, Tinkle was fouled and made two free throws to make the score 65-64. Barefield was fouled, but made only one.
The Beavers had the ball with 20 seconds left, but Hollins and Tinkle missed 3-pointers and a put-back by Thompson bounced off the rim, resulting in a jump ball, with the possession arrow going to Oregon State with 1.4 seconds remaining.
The baseline official ruled that Ethan Thompson moved along the baseline and awarded possession to Utah. Hollins intercepted the Utah pass but his half court heave was off the mark.
“The guys scrapped. We got the ball out of bounds, and it just didn’t go in our favor,” said Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle.
Utah shot 48 percent for the game — and also on 3-pointers, going 11-for-23. Oregon State shot 42 percent.
The Utes led 38-32 at the half.
Oregon State went on a 11-3 surge to open the second half, propelled by two Thompson 3-pointers, to take a 43-41 lead.
Utah: The Utes first six shots of the game were 3-pointers, and they made four of them. The first two-point field goal attempt for Utah came near the 14:30 mark. The Utes came into the game averaging 8.9 3-pointers made per game. At halftime on Sunday, the team had made 10.
Oregon State: Thompson’s last-second heroics helped the Beavers to wins against the Utes in 2015 and 2016. The 2016 win was Oregon State’s lone Pac-12 victory. . Starting center Drew Eubanks fouled out after scoring 10 points in 20 minutes.
BOX AND ONE
Thompson had three points at halftime, but when he started draining 3-pointers in the second half, Krystkowiak said it felt reminiscent of last year’s thriller, which ended on a scoop by the Oregon State guard. “Then we did a nice job of almost running a little box and one mentality where we weren’t allowing him some of those easy catches,” Krystkowiak said
NO MORE THREES
Bibbins said Oregon State was trying to run Utah off the 3-point arc in the second half. “We just tried to play inside-out more and still shoot open shots,” he said.
Utah swept the Oregon schools this week. “They’re hard to come by. Winning a game on the road is hard to accomplish. But, again, we aren’t breaking out the scrapbook and we can’t afford to celebrate,” Krystkowiak said. That’s because the Arizona schools visit Utah next week.
Utah hosts Arizona on Thursday.
Oregon State hosts Oregon on Friday.