CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — After losing several key members from last year’s squad, holding an open tryout this fall and dropping an exhibition game to Division II Western Oregon, expectations for Oregon State this season were low.
That all changed Sunday night, when Langston Morris-Walker made a go-ahead lay-in with 26 seconds left, lifting Oregon State over No. 7 Arizona 58-56 on Sunday night for its first win over a top-10 team since 2000.
“We weren’t supposed to be anything,” Morris-Walker said.
Arizona’s T.J. McConnell missed an off-balance shot with 1 second left, and Oregon State fans rushed the court at Gill Coliseum.
Morris-Walker had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Gary Payton II had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Beavers (11-4, 2-1 Pac-12).
McConnell had 13 points and six assists, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points for the Wildcats (14-2, 2-1), the third top-ranked team to lose Sunday. No. 2 Duke lost to N.C. State and fourth-ranked Wisconsin was defeated by Rutgers.
“In our circle, we knew what we were capable of, so this doesn’t come as a surprise for us,” Morris-Walker said.
Coach Wayne Tinkle, in his first year with the Beavers after leading Montana, has preached defense and rebounding.
“Great win for our guys. They showed unbelievable toughness and resiliency from start to finish,” he said. “I think all that it proves is it’s tough in this conference to win on the road. … At the end, we made one more play than them.”
The Beavers have been a pest for opponents at Gill Coliseum this season, with a perfect 10-0 home record.
McConnell had 13 points and six assists and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points for the Wildcats.
A gritty, defensive matchup, there were 20 lead changes and 15 ties. Neither team held more than a four-point lead.
The Beavers took a 56-52 lead with 1:33 left after Malcolm Duvivier was fouled on lay-in and made the free throw for a three-point play. Gabe York responded for the Wildcats with a 3-pointer with 1:07 remaining.
Duvivier missed another lay-in, and Oregon State fouled Hollis-Jefferson on the rebound. He made one of two to tie it 56-all.
Arizona Coach Sean Miller was critical of the Wildcats’ defense in the second half.
“If we would have been able to get any kind of stops, we would have been able to open up a four, six, eight point lead,” Miller said. “Our offense in the second half was plenty good enough.”
Payton came into the game leading Oregon State with 12.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game. The junior college transfer is the son of former Beaver All-American and NBA star Gary Payton.
Freshman Stanley Johnson came into the game leading Arizona with 14.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He had scored in double figures in the previous 14 games, but had seven points on Sunday.
Arizona: Had won seven in a row over Oregon State before Sunday. … The Wildcats have been in the top 10 in the AP polls for 29 straight weeks. … Arizona ranked fifth nationally with 408 free throw attempts entering the game.
Oregon State: Its last win against a top-10 team came on March 2, 2000, when the Beavers upset No. 3 Arizona 70-69 at Gill Coliseum. … The Beavers are 10-0 at Gill Coliseum, their best home start since the 1998-99 team did the same.
Arizona only had five turnovers, compared to 10 for the Beavers. “We did an excellent job taking care of the ball,” Miller said.
While Arizona went 8 for 10 on free throws in the first half, the Beavers didn’t make it to the charity stripe. That changed in the second half, when Oregon State went 13 for 17 from the foul line. Arizona made only 10 of 17 free throws after the break.
Arizona: hosts Colorado on Thursday.
Oregon State: plays at Washington on Thursday.
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