Forward Warith Alatishe, a transfer from Nicholls State, scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Oregon State hold off Pac-12 rival California 71-63 in a non-conference season opener for both teams Wednesday in Corvallis, Ore.
Ethan Thompson, the Beavers' top returning player, added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Oregon State out-rebounded Cal 43-32.
Guard Matt Bradley paced the Golden Bears with 21 points but made just 5 of 16 shots.
The two teams were paired earlier in the week after Cal's previously scheduled opponent in Corvallis, Colorado State, pulled out due to a COVID-19 shutdown of team activities.
The two teams were picked to finish near the bottom of the conference standings in the preseason media poll, with the Golden Bears 10th and the Beavers 12th.
The Beavers led by as many as seven points in the first half and took a 36-31 lead into the second half. They went up 45-33 on Thompson's 3-pointer with 16:52 to go in the game.
Oregon State pushed the lead to 14 at 61-47 after a pair of free throws by Alatishe with 7:30 to go, and appeared ready to finish off Cal. But the Bears rallied, a jumper from Makale Foreman making it 65-59 with 2:17 to play.
Thompson drove for a key layup at the other end, however. Then Bradley cut the deficit to five when he knocked down three free throws after being fouled with 1:38 to go, but Cal got no closer.
The Bears had two chances to make it a one-possession game in the final 65 seconds, but Foreman missed 3-pointers each time.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle moved into a tie for fourth place in all-time wins at Oregon State with his 94th victory.
--Field Level Media