Payton leads Oregon St. past USC, 59-55
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State had an answer for everything USC threw its way in crunch time Saturday.
Gary Payton II recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead Oregon State to a 59-55 victory over USC.
Jarmal Reid added 14 points, including the go-ahead basket with 10:02 to play, as the Beavers (14-5, 5-2 Pac-12) won their third in a row in a game that featured 12 lead changes and four ties.
"Our guys showed incredible resiliency again, which is really kind of becoming the hallmark of this group," said Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle, whose team improved to 12-0 at Gill Coliseum.
"Just pretty darn good toughness there and finding ways."
Trailing 58-55, the Trojans had the ball with a chance to tie, but Payton intercepted a Julian Jacobs' pass that was intended for Nikola Jovanovic at the top of the 3-point arc with eight seconds to play.
Payton was fouled and made one of two free throws with six seconds left to seal the win and send the Trojans (9-10, 1-6) to their fourth straight loss.
Katin Reinhardt led USC with 17 points and Jovanovic finished with 13 points, but Trojans coach Andy Enfield lamented the fact that starting guards Malik Marquetti, Jordan McLaughlin and Jacobs shot a combined 3 for 21 from the field, including 1 for 10 from 3-point range.
"If you ask me what the difference in the game was, our guards have got to step up and make some shots," Enfield said. "That's being said, they played really hard, they played excellent defense, and . unfortunately, we came out on the short end of the stick."
There were seven lead changes and one tie in the first eight minutes of play.
After USC's Strahinja Gavrilovic scored to give the Trojans a 14-13 lead, Reid came off the Oregon State bench and keyed a 16-4 run.
Reid started the run with assists on baskets by Payton and Malcolm Duvivier and then finished it off with four consecutive field goals, including a layup that made it 29-18 with 3:13 left in the half.
The Beavers missed their last five shots of the half and USC closed with a 9-0 run, cutting the deficit to 29-27 on a Gavrilovic layup with 51 seconds remaining.
Payton scored 12 in the first half.
Katin Reinhardt's 3-pointer to open the second half gave USC a 30-29 lead, but then OSU's Olaf Schaftenaar hit three-consecutive 3-pointers in a span of 1:34 to put the Beavers on top 38-30.
USC responded with a 15-2 run that ended with Reinhardt stealing the ball near center court and skipping a pass to a streaking Elijah Stewart for a breakaway dunk that gave the Trojans a 45-40 lead with about 12 1/2 minutes to play.
The Beavers regained the lead when Reid's layup made it 46-45 with 10:02 to play.
"This group understands," Tinkle said. "They respond. Sometimes we have to turn up the heat a little bit during some timeouts, but right now they're starting to learn and they've gotten to understand what we need to do as a team."
OSU led 53-52 with less than four minutes to play when Payton padded the lead with a baseline jumper as the shot clock was about to expire, followed by a runner in the lane that gave OSU a 57-52 lead with 2:40 to go.
Enfield said it was the first of those two shots that was the biggest dagger.
"We played great defense, ran the shot clock down, they fumbled the ball and then kicked it out to Payton, and he made an 18- or 17-foot jumper with no time left on the shot clock." Enfield said. "I thought that gave them a little cushion, but we still had opportunities down the stretch.
"Tonight, it went down to the last 30 seconds. We're getting better, but it's frustrating when you don't come out on the winning end."
The Beavers threw USC a curve late in the game when they switched from their trademark 2/3 zone defense and played man-to-man.
"It wasn't because our zone was bad," Tinkle said. "We just weren't talking and USC made us pay.
"We said in a timeout, `We're challenging you guys to finish this game in man-to-man where there's no excuses. You've got your guy in front of you. Let's get stops.' And the guys did that."
Oregon State went into Saturday's game 11-0 at Gill coliseum, equaling its best start at home since 1980. . Saturday's announced crowd of 8,877 was the largest turnout of the season at 9,604-seat Gill Coliseum. "These guys deserved it," Tinkle said of the crowd. "They're the reason there's so much excitement about Oregon State basketball. Hopefully, they keep coming back and our guys keeping paying them back by playing their tails off." . The Beavers have won eight of the last 11 meeting against USC after dropping seven straight from 2005 to 2008. . OSU came into the game eighth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.362) and 11th in scoring defense (56.1). . Coming off Thursday's 75-67 loss to Oregon in Eugene, USC used part of Friday's off day to watch the movie American Sniper. . The Trojans went into Saturday's game ranked 11th in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.422), 12th in 3-point field goal percentage (.307) and 12th in free throw percentage (.640). . USC fell to 3-3 in games decided by four points or less. "Defensively, I think we're getting better," Enfield said. "I think in the last five games, we've played only one really poor half, and that against UCLA the second half where we really didn't compete the way we're expected to. We won a game (against California), we lost to Stanford at the buzzer, we lost this one in the last 30 seconds, and we competed against Oregon, we just didn't make shots down the stretch. I think we're improving. However, we need to try to win some games."
Oregon State plays at Arizona State on Wednesday
USC hosts Colorado on Thursday.
- Michael Irving
- Deron White
- Michael Greenstein
2022-23 Pac-12 Conference Standings