Ethan Thompson scored 26 points and No. 12 seed Oregon State neutralized Oklahoma State and star freshman Cade Cunningham, rolling to an 80-70 upset in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night.
Maurice Calloo, who transferred from Oklahoma State, scored 15 points and Jarod Lucas also had 15 for the Beavers, who advanced to play eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago in a Midwest Region Sweet 16 matchup that few could have predicted. Loyola overmatched No. 1 seed Illinois earlier Sunday.
Cunningham, a first-team All-American and possible top NBA draft pick, scored 24 points for Oklahoma State (21-9), but the fourth-seeded Cowboys wasted possessions down the stretch by failing to get him the ball.
Cade Cunningham with 24 and Avery Anderson III with 16 topped the box score, but the three other starters - Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, Kalib Boone, Issac Likekele - combined for just seven points. Off the bench, Keylan Boone contributed a much-needed 13 points for the Pokes in a game that was delayed for 20 minutes at the start by a power outage.
Oregon State (19-12) was picked to finish last in the Pac 12 and had to win the conference tournament just to make the NCAA field. The Beavers pulled that off, then rolled past No. 5 seed Tennessee in the first round. They became the third double-digit seed to reach this year’s Sweet 16, joining 15 seed Oral Roberts and Syracuse, an 11.
Oregon State went ahead 26-15 after an early 22-6 run.
A 3-pointer by Lucas rolled out, then in to give the Beavers a 32-19 edge. Minutes later, Lucas drove took contact, drew a foul and scored in close, energizing the Oregon State fans. His free throw pushed Oregon State’s lead to 38-22. The Beavers led 44-30 at halftime.
Oklahoma State began pressuring late in the first half with some success, and it continued in the second half. Cunningham made two 3-pointers in the opening minutes — the second of which cut Oregon State’s lead to 50-42.
The Cowboys got as close as two points on a basket by Cunningham before Oregon State responded and went up 11, leading the players to exhort their fans during an Oklahoma State timeout with about five minutes to play.
Oklahoma State made one last rally. Boone made a 3-pointer, then Cunningham stole the ball and made a 3 to trim Oregon State’s lead to 70-67 with 3:39 remaining. Oregon State pulled away at the free-throw line.