Long Beach State rallies to beat Oregon State
PORTLAND — Evan Payne scored 19 points and Long Beach State rallied in the final minutes to beat host Oregon State 71-67 in the Dam City Classic at the Moda Center on Friday night.
Stephen Thompson Jr. and Drew Eubanks had 17 points apiece for the Beavers, who have lost four straight.
Oregon State (3-8) led by as many as seven points in the second half, but Jordan Griffin's 3-pointer tied it at 52 before Justin Bibbins hit a pair of free throws to give the 49ers (3-10) the lead with 4:06 left.
JaQuori McLaughlin's layup got the Beavers within 62-61, but Gabe Levin got a basket and a free throw with 1:31 to go. After Ben Kone's 3-pointer pulled Oregon State within a point, Levin again answered with a layup to keep the 49ers in front 67-64.
The two sides traded free throws before Thompson went to the line for Oregon State, making the first free throw and missing the second. He was unable to make the rebound and Roschon Prince closed with free throws for the final margin.
"You could just tell it was two teams trying to find an identity," Long Beach coach Dan Monson said. "I'm just glad we stuck together."
In the Dam City opening game earlier Friday, Portland defeated South Dakota 85-82 on Gabe Taylor's 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left. Portland plays Oregon State in the final game on Sunday.
"I really love the effort. Our guys battled against a team that — don't look at their record, they've played an unbelievable schedule," Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. "They came in here to get after us and I thought our guys played toe-to-toe. It came down to them making plays and we didn't."
Both teams struggled to hit shots at the start, and eight minutes in Long Beach State led by 4-2. Halfway into the first half, the 49ers led 8-4. Combined the teams had 12 turnovers through the first 10 minutes.
The offense picked up as the game went on. McLaughlin's 3-pointer gave the Beavers a 22-16 lead with 3:51 left, and Oregon State led 29-25 at the break.
Payne led the 49ers with 10 points at the break. Payne was named Big West Player of the Week last week after scoring 26 points in a 71-65 loss at Texas last Saturday, and 17 points in a victory over Pepperdine earlier in the week.
Payne hit consecutive 3-pointers to pull Long Beach State into a 33-all tie, but Thompson answered with his own 3 to keep the Beavers in front. Oregon State stretched the lead to 48-41 on Drew Eubank's hook shot.
Long Beach State: Coach Dan Monson does not shy away from tough nonconference schedules, but it comes at a cost. This season the 49ers were 0-7 against Power Five conference schools before the victory over the Beavers. All of those games have been on the road. "When you're a mid-major school, that's always the standard," Monson said. ... Long Beach State was picked to finish atop the Big West in the preseason conference poll.
Oregon State: Gary Payton, A.C. Green and Terry Porter all attended the game. Porter, the former Trail Blazers guard, is the new head coach of the Portland Pilots, who won the opening game. Payton and Green are both former Beavers.
Long Beach State: The 49ers return to the Walter Pyramid to host Colorado State on Thursday.
Oregon State: The Beavers play Portland in the Dam City finale at the Moda Center on Sunday.