CORVALLIS — Last season, Oregon State could hang tight with teams until the final minutes but couldn't close out games, said center Drew Eubanks.
After squandering a double-digit lead in the second half on Saturday, Beaver players stepped up and showed their leadership.
"Last year, we would have lost that game, so it was good to see," Eubanks added.
Eubanks had 22 points, on 10-for-10 shooting, and four blocks as Oregon State held on to beat Loyola Marymount 78-74 on Saturday.
"His guys were getting him the ball right at the rim," Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said.
Tres Tinkle added 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three blocks for the Beavers (4-3).
Zafir Williams had 14 points and six rebounds and Mattias Markusson added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Lions (4-3).
Oregon State shot 56 percent and had 48 points in the paint, compared to 28 points for Loyola Marymount. The Lions shot 9 of 17 on 3-pointers in the second half, however.
The game was tied at 16 when Oregon State went on an 18-2 run to take a 34-18 lead. The Beavers held the Lions scoreless for six minutes during that stretch.
Oregon State led 38-25 at the break.
The Lions whittled away at the lead in the second half, striking from long range, and trailed 63-61 after a Steven Haney 3-pointer with seven minutes left.
Oregon State led 71-68 when Ethan Thompson made an acrobatic lay-up with 1:33 remaining to give the Beavers separation. Haney was fouled on a 3-point attempt on the next possession and made 2 of 3 free throws to make it 73-70.
Stephen Thompson Jr. sunk a floater and was fouled with 54 seconds left. He made the free throw and put the Beavers up 76-70, ending most of the drama.
The Thompson brothers each scored 11 points for Oregon State.
"It would have been easy for our guys to throw in the towel thinking it's not our night, it's not meant to be, and we didn't. We made some big plays offensively, defensively down the stretch to pull it out," Wayne Tinkle said.
Loyola Marymount: The Lions have one of the youngest rosters in the nation, with 10 freshmen and sophomores. Only five other schools have squads with double-digit underclassmen.
Oregon State: The Beavers play eight of their next nine games in Oregon, and seven of those are at Gill Coliseum. . JaQuori McLaughlin, a sophomore guard, left the team for personal reasons and will seek to transfer. Last season, he hit a school record 58 3-pointers for a freshman and his 1,083 minutes were the second most for a freshman in program history, behind Gary Payton.
Oregon State and Loyola Marymount set a Gill Coliseum record with 230 points on Dec. 19, 1989. The Lions, led by Bo Kimble's 53 points, won 117-113. Gary Payton scored 48 in the loss.
Loyola Marymount hosts Portland State on Wednesday.
Oregon State hosts Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday.