Well, this isn't what anyone wanted.
Not only were Oregon State and Portland State not interested in losing their first two games in the Phil Knight Legacy tournament in Portland, Ore., to fall into Sunday night's seventh-place game at the Chiles Center, they didn't want to face each other just eight days after their last meeting.
Yet here are the Beavers (3-3) and the Vikings (2-4) -- required to tangle again even though Portland State handed Oregon State a 79-66 home loss on Nov. 19. It marked the Vikings' first win in the intrastate series as the Beavers claimed the first 16 games dating back to Dec. 11, 1974.
In the first meeting, Portland State broke out to an 11-point lead midway through the first half only to have Oregon State claim a six-point edge with 13:17 to go. The Vikings seized the lead for good on Isiah Kirby's 3-pointer with 6:44 to play, though their official 13-point victory margin was a little deceptive as they scored the game's final nine points over the last 1:35.
UTEP transfer Jorell Saterfield paced Portland State with a career-high 26 points. Oregon State transfer Isaiah Johnson chipped in six points and five rebounds during a season-high 21 minutes off the bench. The Beavers were led by sophomore Glenn Taylor Jr.'s career-high 25 points.
So, what has changed in the eight days since their last meeting? For Oregon State, there might be some increased self-confidence after taking No. 8 Duke to the limit in Thursday's 54-51 quarterfinal loss. In the waning moments, the Beavers missed two 3-point attempts to tie. They limited Duke to 26.7 percent shooting for the day.
"This young group, we challenged them," Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said after the game. "We told them it was going to be a fight and they were willing to accept it and, I thought, battled their tails off."
Portland State, meanwhile, played 80 valuable minutes against No. 6 Gonzaga and West Virginia in the first two rounds of the Phil Knight Legacy. The Vikings dropped those games by a combined 42 points, yet head coach Jase Coburn found a silver lining.
"That's two nights in a row we didn't play well in the first half, then we responded and dug in," Coburn said. "So I'm proud of the guys for continuing to fight."
--Field Level Media
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