CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP)Tres Tinkle is averaging a double-double this season, and Oregon State’s senior forward did nothing to hurt those numbers in a 78-67 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night.
Tinkle scored 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting, grabbed 11 rebounds and had three assists. The Beavers (4-1) never trailed.
“I think he’s the player of the year in the Pac-12,” UCSB coach Joe Pasternack said. “I think he’s an NBA first-round pick.”
Tinkle considered leaving early for the NBA after his junior season but following an NBA evaluation last spring he opted to return to Corvallis for one more season playing for his dad, Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle. That decision could lead to the Beavers’ first NCAA Tournament bid since 2016.
Tinkle moved past former teammate Stephen Thompson Jr. into fourth place on the school’s career scoring list.
He had plenty of help against the Gauchos (1-3)
Ethan Thompson added 16 points, and Alfred Hollins scored all 13 of his points in the second half.
“Gritty, tough win,” Wayne Tinkle said. “Santa Barbara’s gonna win a lot of games. They’re a tough team. They’re playing everybody tough.”
The Gauchos were coming off an 82-81 home loss to Rice after leading by 20 points at halftime. They also had a halftime lead at UCLA before losing 77-61.
Oregon State (4-1) extended a 34-27 halftime lead to as many as 19 points in the second half.
“I felt early on we were getting what we wanted if we were executing and running our stuff,” Tres Tinkle said.
UCSB guard Max Heidegger, who came into the game averaging 20.3 points, was held to 13 points on 4 of 15 from the field.
Oregon State’s Kylor Kelley picked up his third foul at 18:44 of the second half with the Beavers leading 38-29, but the Beavers added to their lead with the Pac-12’s shot-block leader on the bench.
Kelley finished with six points and six blocks. Backup post Roman Silva gave the Beavers a lift off the bench with six points and four rebounds.
“It felt great. I was trying to do stuff to help the team,” Silva said. “I put myself in the right spots and they found a way to get me the ball.”
Oregon State took its largest lead at 51-32 on Silva’s rebound basket.
The Gauchos never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
It was a homecoming of sorts for UCSB junior guard JaQuori McLaughlin, who began his college career at Oregon State and transferred to UCSB six games into his sophomore season.
McClaughlin struggled with his shooting – he was 0 for 7 on 3-pointers – and finished with eight points and six assists.
“I definitely felt comfortable,” McLaughlin said of returning to Gill Coliseum. “I shot in that gym all the time, but I didn’t hit any shots (tonight) from the outside.”
Oregon State shot 56.6% from the field compared to 36.1% for the Gauchos, who were just 5 of 27 (18.5%) from behind the arc. UCSB had a 43-30 advantage on the boards.
UC Santa Barbara: The Gauchos, who were picked to finish second in the Big West preseason media poll, have lost to Pac-12 opponents Oregon State and UCLA this season. … Amadou Sow held his own inside against the Beavers with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Oregon State: The Beavers have won their last two games after losing to Oklahoma in the Phil Knight Invitational at the Moda Center, home of the Portland Trail Blazers. … Tinkle, who played in his 100th career game Wednesday is the only Oregon State player to score in double figures every game this season.
UC Santa Barbara hosts Menlo College on Saturday.
Oregon State hosts Grambling State on Saturday.
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