Wyoming went into its game Saturday against a Power Five opponent undermanned and undersized.
In the end, the Cowboys were overwhelmed.
Oregon State dominated on the interior to set the tone for an 83-64 win over the Cowboys at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon. The Beavers outscored Wyoming 42-32 in the final 20 minutes to turn a seven-point game early in the second half into a rout.
Without forwards Jordan Naughton (knee) and Hunter Thompson, who was held out after suffering a concussion in the Cowboy’s season-opening loss Tuesday, Wyoming (0-2) offered little resistance against an Oregon State team with three players 6-8 or taller in its regular rotation. The Beavers (2-0) nearly doubled up Wyoming in rebounds (45-27) and outscored the Cowboys 46-30 in the paint.
“With what we were faced against, I loved our guys’ effort and our guys’ energy,” Wyoming coach Allen Edwards said. “But with how thin we are on the interior, it was just too much of an uphill battle.”
Forward Tres Tinkle paced Oregon State with game-highs in points (28) and rebounds (11) for his first double-double of the season. Kylor Kelley, a 7-footer, scored 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting and grabbed eight boards while Stephen Thompson Jr. and Alfred Hollins added 16 apiece for the Beavers, who shot 49 percent from the field.
Justin James finished an assist shy of a triple-double, leading the Cowboys with 18 points and 10 boards. But Oregon State held the senior guard to just seven points in the final 20 minutes, stretching its lead to as many as 24 in the second half.
Jake Hendricks and true freshman Brandon Porter chipped in 14 and 10 points, respectively, in their first career starts. But the two combined with James (0-3) to go just 5 of 17 from 3-point range as the Cowboys shot 30 percent or less from deep for the second straight game.
Hunter Maldonado fought through back spasms to add 10 points for Wyoming, which will try again for its first win Wednesday back at the Arena-Auditorium against Grambling State.
“I thought we did a great job moving the basketball and trying to get more touches,” Edwards said. “I thought we got some good looks, they just didn’t fall.”
Oregon State used its advantage in the frontcourt from the start, leading by as many as 16 in the first half. The Beavers finished plus-9 on the glass (23-14) and outscored Wyoming 26-12 in the paint in the first 20 minutes.
Wyoming fought back behind James and Hendricks, who combined for 19 points and nine rebounds in the first half. James’ old-fashioned three-point play and a 3-pointer from Hendricks sparked a 9-2 run that got the Cowboys within single digits with 3:34 left in the half.
James’ jumper on Wyoming’s final possession of the half trimmed Oregon State’s lead to 41-32 at the break. Porter scored the first basket of the second half to get the Cowboys closer, but Wyoming went the next 5 minutes, 23 seconds without another one as the Beavers ripped off a 14-0 run to take control for good.
“We’ve got to get better at doing the little things,” Edwards said, “but when you don’t have Thompson, you don’t have Naughton and then you have Maldonado not at 100 percent, it affects what you want to do going forward. But what I loved about the group was their fight throughout the game.”