CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — It was just a typical game of filling the stat sheet for Oregon State's Tres Tinkle.
Tinkle scored 25 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had seven assists, leading the Beavers to an 87-67 victory over Cal State Northridge on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
The 6-foot-7 forward was an all-Pac-12 selection last season and contemplated an early entry into the NBA Draft, but opted to return for his senior year. That decision could translate into the Beavers' first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2015-16 season.
For now, there's much work ahead.
"I think everyone's excited to finally play someone different and it finally counts," said Tinkle, who was 10 of 17 from the field. "But obviously I think there was some nerves in there, even from me."
CSUN coach Mark Gottfried called Tinkle a difficult matchup "because not a lot of teams will have a guy that big that can defend him on the perimeter."
"He's got a chance to play at the next level," Gottfried said. "He's got size, he can shoot the ball well, he passes it well, too. His passing may be underappreciated."
Kylor Kelley, who was second in the nation in blocked shots last season, added 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Beavers, who return four starters from last season's squad that finished 18-13 and tied for fourth in the Pac-12.
The Beavers received a lift from their bench. Freshman guard Jarod Lucas scored seven points and hit a 3-pointer with 8:23 remaining after the Matadors cut the lead to nine points.
"Good first win. A lot of good things, some not so good things," OSU coach Wayne Tinkle said. "But we knew how scrappy CSUN is. Obviously some big games in front of us, so I was pleased to see our guys answer the call."
Terrell Gomez led CSUN with 19 points, Elijah Harkless scored 15 and Darius Brown II 13 points.
The Matadors were missing sophomore forward Lamine Diane, who is academically ineligible and did not accompany the team to Corvallis. He averaged 24.2 points and 11.8 rebounds last season and was the Big West Conference player of the year.
"Right now we're without him and we don't know for how long," Gottfried said. "It leaves us with a hole, but we've gotta solve the problem."
Ethan Thompson had 14 points and Zach Reichle scored 13 for OSU.
The Matadors kept things interesting in the second half and cut the lead to 63-57 on Gomez's 3-pointer with 10:08 left.
But the Beavers responded with a 17-2 run to take command.
Tinkle scored 15 first-half points and the Beavers led 45-31 at the break. Brown scored 10 points to pace the Matadors, who made just 11 of 36 field goals (30.6 percent) against OSU's man-to-man defense.
CSUN took its only lead at 9-6 after Lance Coleman II made the Matadors' third 3-pointer, but they cooled off from behind the arc.
OSU connected on 46 percent (29 of 63) from the field compared to 38.3 percent for the Matadors (23 of 60), who were outrebounded 45-35 by the taller Beavers.
It was the third matchup between OSU and Cal State Northridge and the first since the 1997-98 season. The Beavers are 3-0 in the series.
Oregon State: The Beavers weren't seriously challenged by a Big West Conference opponent missing its best player. More difficult tests await in their next two games against Iowa State and Oklahoma.
Cal State Northridge: The Matadors will be without Diane for at least the non-conference slate. His production will be difficult to replace.
Oregon State hosts Iowa State on Saturday. Cal State Northridge plays at New Mexico on Saturday.
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