In their third game in six days — the sixth in 14 days — the Washington State Cougars rallied back in the second half to erase a 13-point deficit and defeat the Oregon State Beavers in overtime 103-97.
OSU (3-25, 1-17 in Pac-12) jumped out to an early lead, shooting 59.3% in the first half. WSU (16-13, 9-9) flipped the script of prior games, fighting tooth and nail to crawl back into the game. The Cougars got their own red-hot shooting half, shooting 65.5% in the second half to pull themselves back into the game. Tyrell Roberts knocked home one of two free throws with 15 seconds remaining to tie the game, then WSU got the stop they needed to force overtime before outscoring the Beavers 19-13 in the extra period to pick up an incredibly gutsy win.
The Beaver offense has been mediocre all year but you couldn’t tell by the way the Beavers shot the ball early on. Roman Silva attacked the WSU frontcourt early, scoring eight of the Beavers first 12. The Cougar offense was up to the task, matching OSU’s scoring output in the front half of the first period. OSU turned on the jets in the back half, outscoring WSU 27-15 in the final ten minutes of the half, building a lead that got up to 13. Mouhammed Gueye cut the OSU to 11 with a dunk before the halftime buzzer. Maurcie Calloo and Silva each had 15 points at the break.
With the lowly Beavers shooting red hot no matter what defense WSU was throwing at them and the Cougars’ lack of ability to perform well in the second half all year, the Cougars were going to need a real wake-up call in the second half to rally back and avoid an upset loss on the road.
Roberts got the first five points for WSU to cut back within single-digits to begin the half. The points kicked off a 17-6 run to pull WSU within two at the 13:29 mark. The teams traded buckets with OSU narrowly holding onto the lead. Flowers finally broke the Beaver lead with a three to give WSU its first lead since the 10:07 point in the first half. Dashawn Davis immediately responded with a three of his own to give the Beavers the lead right back. DJ Rodman responded with a tough jumper in traffic to tie the game at 74. The Beavers retook the lead, getting it up to five with 4:21 to go. Following a Beaver turnover with 1:17 left, Flowers drove inside and got the layup to fall, putting WSU just down one. Davis couldn’t get the jumper to fall with 31 seconds left, giving WSU a chance at the win.
Roberts drew a foul with 15 seconds to go, sending him to the line for a one-and-one. The 94.6% free throw shooter on the season got the first free throw to fall but missed the second one, giving OSU a chance for the win. In shades of the USC game, Roberts guarded the taller guard in Davis with the game on the line. Davis couldn’t get in the lane, though, so he rose up and missed the game-winning three to send the game to overtime. TJ Bamba nearly ended the game in regulation on a full court shot that hit the front rim.
Last season, WSU went 1-2 in overtime games, with their last one being a loss to Arizona State on a Remy Martin game-winner. Would this be different?
Gueye scored the first four points in overtime to give WSU the early advantage. Davis brought the Beavers back within one with 2:22 to go in the period. Bamba got a layup to fall to push WSU’s lead to three and Flowers drilled a three to double up the lead and give the Cougs a comforable six-point lead with 1:06 to go. The Cougs added five more points off free throws and Gueye threw down a dunk in the remaining seconds to give WSU their first win in Corvallis since 2013.
The team that folded all year long in these close games finally had enough. They truly fought their hearts out to pick up this win. It’s even more incredible considering how many games they’ve had to play of late that they are still able to dig deep, forget all the loses that felt like how this game was going and pulled out their gutsiest win of the season.
WSU will look to complete the season sweep of the Beavers with their second matchup in four days coming on Thursday to start final homestand of the regular season. Tip off is at 8 p.m. PT.