In the second half the Beavers methodically cut into the Trojans lead, going on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 50 with 5:45 to go. A thunderous dunk by David Lucas gave OSU their first lead of the game at 56-54 with 3:37 remaining, but Oregon State didn’t have an answer for Desmond Farmer all night long as he poured in a game-high 24 points propelling the Trojans to a 63-60 victory to end the Beavers season.
“Emotions were high,” said sophomore guard Chris Stephens. “Everybody wanted to go to LA. We didn’t want the season to end. For it to end in a game like this, where we battled and we battled hard, we came up just a little bit short, it hurts.”
Stephens led the Beavers in their final game of the season with 22 points, 18 coming in the second half. The sophomore continued his season long hot shooting, hitting 4-of-8 from behind the arc, with all four makes coming in the second half on six attempts.
Lucas was the only other Beaver in double figures with 13. Despite going 3-of-16 from the field, Lucas did have a strong day from the line hitting 7-of-8 free throws.
Kyle Jeffers had a solid game for OSU corralling eight boards, seven offensive and tallying seven points.
With the help of Jeffers, the Beavers continued their trend of being a force on the offensive boards with 15 as a team.
Jim Hanchett had two of those offensive rebounds to go with six on the defensive end and he contributed four points and two steals and a ton of hustle plays that don’t show up in the boxscore.
“We do not expect to be in the same position next year,” Hanchett said. “We definitely don’t expect to be fighting for a place in the [Pac-10] tournament next year. Our goals are not set on the Pac-10 tournament next year, that’s not where it’s at. We’re definitely expecting the NCAA tournament, and that’s what we want to do.”
The end of the game was hectic as Lodrick Stewart hit his only three of the
game with 1:04 remaining to give the Trojans a 61-57 advantage. On the ensuing
possession the Beavers took their time and with the shot clock running down
Lamar Hurd shot and missed a three, but Hanchett came up with the offensive
board and assisted a three by Stephens.
After playing a relativly clean second half, the Beavers had to commit three fouls to put the Trojans on the line with 23 seconds to go for the one and one.
Farmer hit the first and missed the second to give the Trojans a two-point
Again, Hanchett came up with a huge rebound and the Beavers called timeout with 18 seconds remaining. The Beavers went inside to star forward David Lucas, despite his poor shooting night, for a potential game-tying shot. Lucas missed, got an offensive rebound and had his second attempt blocked by Nick Curtis, although most of the 7,159 in attendance thought he was fouled.
With seven seconds remaining Stephens fouled Lodrick Stewart. Stewart hit the first and missed the second attempt giving the Beavers a slim chance to tie the game with a three in the final five seconds of play.
The Beavers final possession was unsuccessful as the ball was poked away from Hurd ending the game and the Oregon State men’s basketball season.
After the turnover and time had ran out Desmond Farmer took the ball and bounced it off the floor for an alley-oop dunk to himself.
“We’re a young team, but I think the biggest thing is that we improved game by game, and that’s what is important right now,” Stephens said summing up the season.
On a positive note, OSU outshot USC from the free throw line, hitting 17-of-21 opposed to USC’s 2-of-5.
Jake Schubert can be reached at email@example.com.