CORVALLIS, Ore. – Junior Colton Weisbrod recorded his first career double-double as a Lamar University Cardinal to guide the Red and White to a shocking 63-60 win over Oregon State Wednesday night at Gill Coliseum.
The story of the night came on the defensive end of the floor as the Cardinals harassed Oregon State all night forcing 27 turnovers. LU took full advantage of the extra opportunities scoring 30 points off the OSU mistakes. On the flip side, Big Red only turned the ball over nine times and Oregon State could manage just six points from the miscues.
“This was a great effort from our guys tonight,” said LU head coach Tic Price. “There was no one in this arena tonight – other than the guys in our locker room – who actually believed we could win. We never quit and I’m very proud of our effort. This is not an easy place to get a win.”
LU’s (2-0) performance on defense allowed the Cards to overcome a 20-of-71 (.282) effort offensively. The much smaller Cardinals struggled at times adjusting to Oregon State’s height. The Beavers had four players 6-10 or taller, and no player shorter than 6-4. The Cardinals overcame their lack of efficiency with clutch three-point baskets and preventing the Beavers from making any sort of a run through the first half.
LU also finished the night sinking 8-of-26 (.308) three-pointers, led by three from senior Marcus Owens. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native was one of four Cardinals to knock down a three-pointer Wednesday. The Cardinals also did a good job of slowing down OSU’s ability to hit the three, surrendering just 3-of-11 (.273) attempts.
The Cardinals took their first lead of the game on a three-pointer from Owens with 17:04 remaining in the opening half. It was the Cardinals first lead of the game, and it was the last lead change of the night.
Moments later the Cardinals got another three from junior Christian Albright to push the advantage to six points, 15-9. That would be the biggest lead of the half as LU would push its advantage to a two or three possession lead only to have Oregon State cut the lead back to two points. Every time OSU had a chance to tie or take the lead LU came up with a stop taking a four-point advantage into the locker room, 29-25.
The Beavers (2-1) used their size advantage to outrebound Big Red by eight in the opening half but LU didn’t allow Oregon State to score from their offensive rebounds. OSU ended the half with just a 4-2 advantage in second-chance points.
The Cardinals came out of the locker room with more energy opening the half on a 12-4 run to build a 12-point advantage, 41-29. OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle called a time out and apparently got his message across as the Beavers responded with a 12-0 run to tie the game at 41 with less than 10 minutes remaining. It was at that moment that Owens, one of only two seniors for LU, took control to settle down his team. Owens scored the game’s next five points, including a three-pointer to stop the OSU run. Owen’s basket to break the tie would be as close as the Beavers would come to victory.
The rest of the half was very reminiscent of the first half as OSU would score on one end of the floor only to have the Cards answer on the other. The game would remain at this stage until the final minute of the contest when Oregon State began fouling in desperation to regain the lead. The Cardinals hit 10-of-15 attempts from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the win.
In addition to LU’s impressive defensive performance as a team, the Red and White held Tres Tinkle to a mere nine points and eight rebounds. Tinkle entered the night averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds.
“Tinkle is an NBA caliber player,” said Price. “I’m very happy with how we were able to get him off balance. We were able to minimize the damage he causes opposing teams.”
Owens added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals, while Frenchwood chipped in eight points and dished out six assists.
The Cardinals return to action Saturday when they travel to Fresno, Calif. to take on Fresno State. The game against the Bulldogs is slated to begin at 11 a.m. (1 p.m. Beaumont time) from the Save Mart Center.
“The job is not done yet,” said Price. “We still have a lot of work to do but tonight I’m going to let the team enjoy this one. When we wake up tomorrow the focus has to be Fresno State.”