/Oregon State’s sizzling postseason continues, as Beavers reach Elite Eight with a 65-58 win over Loyola of Ch – OregonLive

Oregon State’s sizzling postseason continues, as Beavers reach Elite Eight with a 65-58 win over Loyola of Ch – OregonLive


INDIANAPOLIS – The season that refuses to end added another thrilling chapter Saturday afternoon when Oregon State advanced to the Elite Eight following a 65-58 win over Loyola of Chicago in a Midwest Regional semifinal at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Beavers (20-12) became the second 12 seed in NCAA Tournament history to earn a berth in the Elite Eight. Ethan Thompson scored 22 points and OSU held Loyola to 33% shooting to close out the eight-seeded Ramblers.

Oregon State, which needed three wins to win the Pac-12 tournament two weeks ago just to land an NCAA berth, earned its first Elite Eight berth since 1982.

The Beavers advance to Monday’s regional final, where it’ll face the Houston-Syracuse winner Monday in Lucas Oil Stadium. Time is TBA.

Oregon State, held to three points during the first nine minutes, took control by halftime and never looked back during the second half to secure its third win of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

This is Beavers’ seventh regional final, but the first since the NCAA expanded the tournament field to 64 teams. The last time Oregon State reached the Elite 8 was 1982, when the Beavers lost to the Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown Hoyas 69-45.

Oregon State has reached the Final Four twice in school history, in 1949 and 1963.

Warithe Alatishe had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Jarod Lucas scored eight points, all in the second half, for Oregon State.

Cameron Krutwig had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Loyola (26-5).

Oregon State returned Saturday to Bankers Life, site of its first-round win over Tennessee. The magic wasn’t there early, as Loyola’s defense had the clamps on the Beavers. OSU didn’t score its first field goal until the 13:46 mark.

The Beavers’ first break came with 10:43 left in the first half, when Lucas Williamson drew his second foul. When the Missouri Valley defensive player of the year went to the bench, things began to loosen up for OSU. Trailing 9-3, Thompson hit a three-pointer, Andela tipped in a rebound and Maurice Calloo buried a baseline jumper to give Oregon State its first lead.

Krutwig hit a 5-footer to put the Ramblers up 16-13 with 5:48 remaining. That was it for Loyola for the rest of the half, as Oregon State scored the final 11 points to take a 24-16 halftime lead.

It was the lowest scoring half of the 2021 NCAA Tournament to date.

Oregon State held the Ramblers to four first-half field goals. Krutwig was 3 of 5 during the first half, the rest of Loyola’s roster 1 of 18.

The Beavers didn’t flinch coming out of halftime. Four minutes into the second half, OSU stretched the lead to 33-22 after Jarod Lucas hit his first three of the game.

Thompson continued to put his fingerprints all over the game. With the shot clock about to expire, he hit a tough, contested 10-footer to put OSU up 35-24. Then Thompson baited Williamson into getting his third foul. The Beavers pounced on a Loyola mental lapse, as Alatishe threw a full-court pass to Thompson, who threw down a two-handed dunk for Oregon State’s largest lead at 37-24.

Loyola made a brief run, stringing together six consecutive points to trim the deficit to 37-30. Then it became a game of trading baskets, as Calloo and Thompson got going. Oregon State led 45-37 with 7:47 left.

The Ramblers inched closer, as Norris hit a three-pointer, then Aher Uguak a layup, trimming the OSU lead to 47-44. The Beavers responded, Lucas hitting a corner jumper and Zach Reichle made two free throws for 51-44 lead and 2:43 remaining.

Loyola continued its rush. Keith Clemons hit a three-pointer, then a drive by Marquise Kennedy cut the deficit to 53-49. Lucas gave Oregon State was breathing room on the next possession, knocking down a three-pointer for a seven-point lead and a 1:10 left.

The Beavers closed out the win at the free throw line during the final 70 seconds.

Attendance was limited to some 3,000 for Saturday’s game, per NCAA pandemic rules. Oregon State was allotted 350 tickets for the game.

–Nick Daschel | ndaschel@oregonian.com | @nickdaschel

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