You may have noticed Thursday night's Oregon State score. If not, prepare eyeballs for widening sequence, initiating in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... : Stanford 59, Oregon State 35.
35! By any measure, that's a low, low number. (Give me nine holes of golf and I'll easily double it.) When you consider that Oregon State and Stanford shared 60 possessions, it becomes even more baffling. Sixty possessions? To score 35 points? What on Earth happened in Palo Alto Thursday night?
A quick look at the Four Factors renders an explanation immediately evident: Oregon State didn't rebound. Like, at all. Sure, the Beavers did plenty of other things badly, too. Their effective field goal percentage was a paltry 39 percent. They never got to the free throw line, and they turned the ball over on 32.2 percent of their possessions. Any of these things is more than enough reason to lose a basketball game. But when you combine them with the rebounding on hand, it makes it even worse. Oregon State's offensive rebounding rate? 11.1 percent. Stanford's? 42.4.
That means that while Oregon State was failing to rebound any of its own misses -- which were plentiful, provided OSU hadn't turned the ball over already -- the Beavers were getting absolutely hammered on the defensive end, giving Stanford second chances over and over again. That, folks, is how you end up with 35 points in a 60 possession game: You do everything really badly, and one thing apocalyptically. In fact, that's probably the best word for OSU's rebounding effort last night. Apocalyptic.
Of course, this isn't the first time Oregon State has tossed up an absolute stinker; its blowout loss at the hands of Seattle earlier this season is still the high-water mark for how low this team can go. But here's the thing: Oregon State isn't that bad! They can beat Oregon at Oregon. They can beat Arizona. They can play decent, perfectly respectable basketball, and they do so with some measure of frequency.
And then they lose, and when they lose, oh man. They lose. Inconsistency is one thing. This is just weird.