OSU comeback falls just short

Beavers rally from 17 down, but miss Final Four berth
Staff Report
AP photo

How close were the Oregon State Beavers to reaching the Final Four Monday?

About three minutes, a few missed free throws and some defensive rebounds.

The 12th-seeded Oregon State men's basketball team rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to tie second-seeded Houston with 3:48 left, but the Cougars hit a 3-pointer with 3:21 left - after one of their 19 offensive rebounds, and the Beavers could not hit another basket until five seconds remained on the way to a 67-61 loss in the Midwest Regional final. The Beavers, who had been shooting 88 percent at the free-throw line, hit just 11 of 20 attempts in the game and were outrebounded 41-29.

Overall, Houston had 62 field-goal attempts to just 47 for the Beavers.

Maurice Calloo had 13 points off the bench to lead OSU. Ethan Thompson scored 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting. No other Oregon State player reached double figures.

Houston, which led 34-17 at halftime, reached its first Final Four since 1984.

Oregon State has not been to the Final Four since 1963.

Having scored a season-low of 17 points in the first half, and with Thompson scoring just one point, the Beavers made their rally behind a shifting zone defense, and reached 38 points in just 10 minutes. But, they still trailed by 14. Then, the game turned and the Beavers cut the deficit to 52-48 with 6:29 left on a tip-in by Roman Silva.

After trading baskets, Gianni Hunt hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 55 with 3:438 left.

The Beavers, though, got off just four field-goal attempts for the remainder of the game, with Thompson making a lay-up to cut the deficit to 64-58, and Calloo hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left for the final score.

Houston made nine of 12 free-throw attempts in the final three minutes.

Oregon State finished at 20-13 on the season, having reached the Elite 8 for the first time since 1984. The team won the Pac-12 Conference Tournament as well.