CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State extended its winning streak to five games with an 81-76 victory over Portland State on Sunday, but the victory did not come easy.
The Beavers (7-1) squandered most of a 19-point second-half lead before holding on against upset-minded Portland State (3-5) from the Big Sky Conference.
Tres Tinkle had 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to lead Oregon State. Ethan Thompson had 18 points and Zach Reichle scored a career-high 16 for the Beavers, who have defeated Portland State in all 14 matchups between the schools.
“Give them a ton of credit, they played their tails off,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said of Portland State. “And then shame on us for not being tougher mentally and physically.”
Holland Woods, who was limited in the first half with foul trouble, scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half for Portland State.
Oregon State scored the first seven points of the second half — a 3-pointer by Tinkle and two Reichle layups — to take its biggest lead at 48-34.
The lead grew to as many as 19 points after Thompson’s field goal at the 12:32 mark, but Portland State rallied and made things interesting down the stretch. Oregon State struggled against the Vikings’ full-court pressure.
Portland State closed to 80-76 on Woods’ jumper with 20 seconds left, but Oregon State’s Gianni Hunt made the first of two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to close the scoring. Matt Hauser and Woods missed 3-pointers in the final seconds for the Vikings.
“We’re talented as well. We’re not about moral victories,” said Woods, an all-Big Sky selection last season who is averaging 19.5 points per game. “But we definitely showed what we can do."
Kylor Kelley, the Beavers’ 7-foot senior post, scored just two points, but blocked six shots. He is third nationally in blocked shots.
Despite giving up considerable size, the Vikings had a 39-32 rebounding edge and a glaring 17-5 advantage in offensive boards.
“We were able to pull together enough to pull out the win,” said Tres Tinkle, an all-Pac-12 selection last season who made 5-of-7 3-pointers. “I think it’s gonna be a good thing for us looking back, making sure we take care of the ball and finishing plays. Doing all those little things in crunch time that’s gonna help us win games.”
Oregon State shot 55.6 percent from the field compared to 40 percent for Portland State.
The Beavers led 41-34 at the break.
Oregon State and Portland State played the same teams in their previous three games: UC Santa Barbara, Grambling State and San Jose State.
Several former Oregon State hoop standouts were in attendance including 1981 consensus All-American Steve Johnson, who is the second-leading scorer in school history behind Gary Payton.
Oregon State: Tinkle extended his double-figure scoring streak to 73 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in school history behind Mel Counts (89). The Beavers have 13 days between games and will play four more non-conference games before the Pac-12 opener Jan. 2 at Utah.
Portland State: The Vikings can build on a solid performance against a Pac-12 opponent on the road. … Senior center Sal Nuhu missed his fourth straight game with an ankle sprain. Nuhu averages a team-high 2.3 blocks and Portland State misses his presence in the paint.
Oregon State hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 14
Portland State hosts Cal State Northridge on Friday
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