Ethan Thompson scored a game-high 22 points and Warith Alatishe registered a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds to lift 12th-seeded Oregon State to a 65-58 victory against No. 8 Loyola Chicago in an NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional semifinal on Saturday in Indianapolis.
Oregon State won its sixth straight game and advanced to face Syracuse or Houston in Monday’s regional final. The Beavers sit one victory away from the program’s first Final Four since 1963.
Defense continues to bolster the Beavers (20-12), who have limited foes to 31.3 percent shooting (57 of 182) in their three tournament victories.
Oregon State led by as many as 13 in the second half and helped itself by making 18 of 20 from the free-throw line.
Three years removed from a Cinderella surge to the Final Four, the Ramblers (26-5) saw their March run end as they finished a meager 33.3 percent (18 of 54) from the field, including 5-for-23 from 3-point range.
Cameron Krutwig had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds to keep Loyola afloat, while Braden Norris and Lucas Williamson followed with 10 points apiece. Williamson added seven rebounds.
A 20-10 Loyola run brought the team to within 47-44 with 3:30 to go, but the Ramblers came no closer the rest of the way. Loyola missed the opportunity to finish a three-point play that would have brought the team within three again with 1:32 remaining, and the Beavers responded with a Jarod Lucas trey on the ensuing possession.
Lucas added eight points for the Beavers.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, with Loyola shooting 17.4 percent (4 of 23) compared to 33.3 percent (8 of 24) for Oregon State. The Ramblers hit just two shots in the last 17:11 of the first half.
Oregon State closed the first half on an 11-0 run, with Thompson scoring seven points during the spurt. Alatishe swished a pullup jumper at the buzzer to put the Beavers on top 24-16 at intermission. Loyola went scoreless over the last 5:48 of the half en route to its lowest offensive showing in any half this season.
–Field Level Media