Freshman center steps up in OSU triumph
CORVALLIS — Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle hoped to take things slowly with 6-foot-10 Drew Eubanks, but with an injury to the Beavers' starting center, the freshman was thrust into a major role.
"We've had to throw him into the fire and he's really responded," Tinkle said. "I'm proud of the young guy.
"He's a humble kid and he'll continue to get better."
And that could be a scary thought for opponents.
Eubanks had 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting and was one of three Oregon State freshmen to score in double digits for the second straight game as Oregon State beat Iona 93-73 on Tuesday night.
Gary Payton II had 12 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and a monster 360-degree dunk. Langston Morris-Walker added 17 points for the Beavers (2-0).
A.J. English scored 20 points, but shot 4-for-17 from the field, and Deyshonee Much added 15 points for the Gaels (0-2).
Oregon State outrebounded Iona 45-31, and limited the Gaels to just 35.5 percent shooting.
"Their size kind of beat us up a little bit," Iona coach Tim Cluess said.
He added that his team's cold-shooting start this season won't impact its fast-paced style.
"We have to just continue to do what we do and get better," said Cluess.
Both teams struggled to score early, but the Beavers went on an 18-4 run to close the half and led 41-29 at the break.
Oregon State led by as many as 22 in the second half.
Tres Tinkle, the son of the coach, finished with 11 points, and fellow frosh Stephen Thompson Jr., the son of assistant coach Stephen Thompson, added 16 points.
The Gaels lost their season opener last Sunday at Valparaiso, a team the Beavers host on Nov. 24.
Tuesday's contest was the first of three games in five days for the Beavers. "We're going to find out a lot about ourselves," Tinkle said. That's especially true since the next two games aren't at Gill Coliseum. Last year, the Beavers were 2-9 in true road games and 0-3 on neutral courts.
OREGON STATE: The Beavers were picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12 media poll. . Last season, the Beavers finished 17-14 overall and 8-10 in the Pac-12, the team's best league mark since 1992-93. . Center Daniel Gomis (hand) and forward Jarmal Reid (foot), both seniors, will most at least two more weeks with injuries.
IONA: The Gaels, from New Rochelle, New York, were picked to finish first in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference coaches' poll. ... The team finished 26-9 last season and lost in the first round of the NIT to Louisiana Tech. . Last season, Iona averaged 79.5 points per game last season, tied for fourth best in the nation, and 9.8 3-pointers per game, good for fifth in the NCAA.
Oregon State plays at Rice on Thursday.
Iona hosts Delaware on Friday.