BOULDER | Ethan Thompson and Oregon State felt no pressure down 12 in the second half.
That’s when the Beavers decided to make Colorado feel plenty of it.
Thompson scored 24 points, Tres Tinkle hit a go-ahead layup with 2:25 remaining and Oregon State rallied after switching on its swarming defense to stun Colorado 76-68 on Sunday night.
Trailing 53-41 with 13:21 left, the Beavers (11-3, 1-1 Pac-12) turned to a full-court trap to win their second straight in Boulder. They forced the Buffaloes (12-3, 1-1) into mistake after mistake and bad shot after bad shot down the stretch, outscoring Colorado 24-5 over the last 7 1/2 minutes.
“It took getting down 12 on the road for it to sink in to our guys,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “It wasn’t pretty and we had some bonehead plays but we created doubt in their mind and I think when we got back and took the lead you could just see the body language changed. We were really fired up.”
Colorado got caught in a trap game — heading into and especially during the game.
Fresh off a win over No. 4 Oregon last week, the Buffaloes were in control until midway through the second half. That’s when Oregon State went to its full-court trap defense that caused all sorts of trouble for Colorado. The Buffaloes had four turnovers over the final 3:02.
“Disappointing loss to say the least,” Buffs coach Tad Boyle said. “We imploded.”
Colorado prepared for Oregon State’s 1-3-1 zone and fully expected to see it at some point.
“It was kind of a last resort for Oregon State,” Boyle said. “They were down 10 with 5 minutes to go and were like, ‘Let’s see if they can handle it.’ We did not handle it. … We were looking around like we want somebody else to come save us. There was nobody to save us.”
Tres Tinkle’s layup gave Oregon State its first lead since midway through the first half. From there, Thompson took over as he scored seven points in the final 1:10.
The Beavers knocked off a Buffs team that’s proven to be tough to beat at home under Boyle. The Buffs fall to 135-26 in Boulder under Boyle.
“It’s always a great feeling to get a road win in the Pac-12, just because it’s such an in-depth conference,” Thompson said. “It’s a big lift for us.”
Tyler Bey had 20 points for Colorado, while McKinley Wright IV added 14 points and 10 assists. It was the sixth time in Wright’s career he’s had a double-double with points and assists. That ties Jay Humphries in that particular stat for the most in school history.
Seven-footer Kylor Kelley gave the Buffaloes trouble all night. Kelley finished with 12 points as he faced a multitude of defenses, including Colorado’s 7-footer Dallas Walton.
Colorado concentrated on Tinkle and held him to 12 points, which was about eight points below his season average. Zach Reichle stepped up with a career-high 19 points, including three made free throws when he was fouled on a 3-pointer with 4:55 remaining.
“I was just proud of the team effort,” Wayne Tinkle said.
Oregon State: The Beavers shot 56% from the field in the second half to work their way back into the game. They finished 18 of 21 from the free-throw line.
Colorado: In all likelihood, there went a shot of reappearing in the AP Top 25 poll. They were in line after a win over Oregon. “Failed to execute down the stretch,” Wright said. “We just have to be better.”
Tres Tinkle has 1,937 career points. He’s 236 points away from passing Gary Payton and becoming the all-time leading scorer in Oregon State history.
BLOCK OF EMOTIONS
Bey blocked three shots — and didn’t gloat after any of them. He did have a smile after swatting Kelley with 8:02 remaining to keep it a 10-point game. Bey learned his lesson after picking up a technical for taunting in a close game against Oregon on Thursday. Bey was admonished by Boyle.
Oregon State: Host Arizona State on Thursday.
Colorado: Host Utah on Sunday.