On the last home stand of their careers, the Husky seniors exorcised some Beaver demons and outlasted Oregon State 81-76 in overtime. Noah Dickerson came on strong in the second half to finish with a hard-earned 22 points and 17 rebounds. David Crisp regained his shooting form with four made threes and a total of 22 points, including a big one late in overtime to help ensure the win.
For Oregon State, Tres Tinkle kept the Beavers in the game every time it looked like UW was ready to pull away. The redshirt junior coach’s son made his last five field goals and a procession of free throws to finish with 31 points and 10 rebounds. His inside-outside combination pairs well with his passing ability to zero in on the weak spots of the zone. Even with Tinkle’s big night, nine missed UW free throws, and a 16-3 deficit in second-chance points, UW executed enough down the stretch to pull out the home victory.
Both teams tend to play at a slow pace on both ends of the floor and the early part of the game reflected that trend. Even with the long possessions, OSU’s interior passing and UW’s perimeter shooting played to a standstill in the opening minutes. Similar to the early parts of the Cal game, Crisp was hot with a pair of threes and a layup to lead UW at the offensive end.
The Husky bench also made a difference early. Naz Carter drained a three immediately after he entered and Sam Timmins created a pair of turnovers with deflections at the bottom of the zone. When the Beavers went to their bench, they had to downsize from their unusually large starting lineup. The Dawgs mirrored them with a lineup without Wright or Timmins, and the result was a series of quick baskets that stretched the lead to eight and forced OSU to call a timeout.
After a cold shooting start, Tinkle found some space inside and put five quick points on the board to cut into Washington’s lead. Dickerson answered with a post basket and Thybulle followed it with another highlight-reel defensive play. He cleanly picked Zach Reichle and easily took it the other way for a big dunk.
Washington wasn’t able to extend the lead from there. Ethan Thompson gave the Dawgs flashbacks to their first meeting with consecutive long threes, the first two for OSU on the night. A frustrating sequence of second-chance points for OSU and missed free throws for UW brought the Beavers within 2 at 31-29 late in the half. Naz Carter stopped the bleeding with an acrobatic layup. Tinkle answered with a wild, falling three at the buzzer to cut the deficit to one at the break.
The second half started with a familiar pattern: a Nowell three, a Kylor Kelley lay-in, and a Crisp drive. Mike Hopkins quickly went back to Timmins to match up with the OSU size, but Kelley got yet another put-back to tie the game. Crisp reversed a negative trend from the charity stripe with three makes to put UW back on top and a Dominic Green three followed to create some breathing room at 44-38. Undeterred, OSU answered with a pair of their own threes to tie the game again.
Other than a nice Thybulle three after a timeout, the offense struggled through the doldrums of the second half. The defense picked up correspondingly and forced Oregon State into turnovers and very difficult shots. Even the laconic Green got into the act with tight defense on the ball and a steal. Still, the long stretch without a made field goal allowed OSU to tie the game up at 54. After a pair of Dickerson free throws, Nowell made a transition layup to break a run of over five minute without a field goal.
Nowell made another impactful play moments later when he drove into the teeth of the defense. He elevated for a dunk attempt and drew Kelley’s fourth foul, which meant both OSU big men had four with four minutes to play. Unfortunately, Nowell missed both free throws to leave the window open.
While OSU continued to struggle from the field, both teams spent a lot of time at the line. Nowell tried to draw a foul on a three, but the bad miss let Oregon State get into transition where Tinkle made a three to tie the game at 62. Crisp quickly answered with a drive that resulted in a goaltend to seize the lead back under two minutes.
The offensive struggles seemed to resolve themselves with both teams under intense pressure. Stevie Thompson got to the line and made a pair. Dickerson answered with a short make off of a nice feed from Green. Tinkle drove into Dickerson, made the shot, but missed the ensuing free throw to keep the game tied with 41 seconds on the clock. Out of a timeout, Nowell lost the ball, but tied up Thompson to keep the ball with the possession arrow. Thybulle got the next shot, but missed the rim to cause a shot clock violation. With plenty of historical precedent on his side, Stevie Thompson tried a long three at the buzzer, but Crisp had it well covered and he missed it long to take the game to overtime.
Dickerson started overtime with a drive straight into Kelley, who offered little resistance with four fouls. After Ethan Thompson split two free throws, Crisp drove and dropped it to Dickerson for another dunk. Tinkle made a turnaround in the lane and Nowell answered with a pair of free throws to keep the lead at three. A feathery pass from Wright into the post for Dickerson extended the lead to five, but Tinkle answered by sneaking into a soft spot on the wing for a three.
Crisp came up huge with a deep three on the left wing on the next possession for his first three since the first half to extend the lead back to five. Tinkle drew another foul from Thybulle and made the free throws to get it back to a one possession game. Crisp split a pair after the Beavers fouled him on the in-bounds. Down four with 30 seconds to play, Oregon State ate 16 seconds of clock, only for Thybulle to force a tie-up and regain possession. Dickerson made one of two free throws, Tinkle followed with put back, and Nowell made both free throws with three seconds left to effectively ice the game.
Oregon State has given UW so many problems in recent years that an easy win was never going to be in the cards. The win strengthens UW’s tournament resume and prevents the nightmare scenario of losing a pair going into the conference tournament. Some of the same problems from the Bay Area road trip were still present- they gave up too many open threes on blown assignments and looked lost offensively for extended stretches-, but they dialed up the intensity down the stretch and pulled out an old school win through their best post player.
-Gligorije Rakocevic got an atypical start for the Beavers. They opted for a bigger front line next to Kelley, likely to put more pressure on the Dawgs zone with offensive rebounds.
-As much as I hate to say it, I fear that Thybulle has become somewhat too aggressive chasing steals. In recent games, he has fallen for pass fakes that have led to ball-handlers beating him into the lane. There were multiple examples in the second half where the middle man in the zone had to step up to stop penetration, and the pass led to an easy basket. Thybulle gets enough steals and deflections to justify his aggressiveness, but there is a downside, as well.
-Dickerson missed some shots early, but he still provided lots of value on the boards. Not only did he rack up a large number of rebounds, he pulled down quite a few contested boards in traffic that were far from automatic.
-Stevie and Ethan Thompson have been problems for the Huskies, but neither stood out in this game. They combined for 18 points on 16 shots, but neither sat a single minute of the 45.