After coming close but failing to pull off an upset win at home against one of the Pac-12 Conference's top teams, Oregon State starts a Bay Area road trip on Thursday night against one of the conference's weaker squads.
The Beavers (11-11, 7-9) dropped a 61-57 decision to Colorado on Saturday and look to rebound when they visit California, aiming for a 3-0 season sweep of the Golden Bears. They beat Cal 71-63 in the season opener on Nov. 25, then bagged a 73-64 victory on Jan. 2.
Both games were in Corvallis, Ore., which is where Oregon State also endured one of its most frustrating defeats of the season on Saturday night. It nearly exacted revenge on the Buffs, which beat them by 29 in their first meeting on Feb. 8, but the Beavers just couldn't make enough shots in the loss on Saturday.
The Beavers hit only 21 of 58 attempts from the field, going 9 of 28 in the second half. Leading scorer Ethan Thompson managed 18 points but made just 6 of 17 shots.
"It comes down to they shot a little better percentage than us," Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said to the Corvallis Gazette Times. "Our shooters didn't shoot it like we're capable of and they got to the line 10 more times than us."
Thompson has been the Beavers' top threat on offense, tallying 16.2 points per game but making just 41.4 percent of his shots. Their only other double-figure scorer is guard Jarod Lucas, who averages 12.2 points and cans 39.4 percent of his 3-pointers.
Meanwhile, the Golden Bears (8-17, 3-15) are simply hoping for some positive momentum to take to the Pac-12 tourney next month. They were swept on their two-game road trip to the Washington schools last week, suffering a 62-51 defeat Saturday night at Washington.
Like Oregon State, Cal lost primarily because it struggled to hit shots. It was a miserable 16 of 60 at Washington, nullifying a good defensive performance in which it held the Huskies to 42.9 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 40-38.
Matt Bradley's 13 points led the Golden Bears, but he's been held under 20 in the last two games after reaching that mark in five of the six games prior.
One bit of good news for Cal is that seniors Grant Anticevich and Makale Foreman announced that they'll return next year via an NCAA rule that allows seniors to use a fifth season because of COVID-19.
--Field Level Media