- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Gary Payton II came up with the idea to wear his father’s retired number during Senior Day as a way to honor his dad, and he tried to keep the switch a secret until Oregon State’s starting lineup was announced.

“He was just laughing, so I knew he was surprised,” Payton said.

Payton had 13 points, seven rebounds and eight assists to lead Oregon State past Washington State 69-49 on Sunday.

Drew Eubanks added 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and Tres Tinkle scored 13 points for the Beavers (17-10, 8-8 Pac-12).

“Super proud of the effort and the win, obviously. We took care of business when we had to,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said.

Payton usually wears No. 1, but on Sunday, he donned the jersey No. 20 worn by his father, former Oregon State and NBA great Gary Payton, who was in attendance.

Josh Hawkinson had 14 points and nine rebounds and Charles Callison scored 13 points for the Cougars (9-20, 1-16), who have lost 15 in a row.

“It was the same old story for us. We left points on the board, particularly in the first half,” said Washington State coach Ernie Kent.

Oregon State, which has now won six in a row versus Washington State, outrebounded the Cougars 43-33.

The Beavers also shot 46 percent from the floor, compared to 36 percent for the Cougars.

Oregon State took control early with an 18-2 run, ending with a ferocious Payton dunk, to go ahead 20-6 about 11 minutes into the game. The Beavers forced six turnovers during that stretch.

At the half, Oregon State led 35-25.

Callison made the first basket of the second half, a 3-pointer, and the Cougars trailed 35-28. But the Beavers responded with another 18-2 run, capped by a Tinkle 3-pointer, to take a 53-30 lead with 12:36 left.

The closest the Cougars could get the rest of the game was 17 points.

___

TIP-INS

Washington State: The Cougars haven’t won a game since defeating UCLA 85-78 on Jan. 3. … Que Johnson had scored in double figures in eight of the previous nine games, but had seven points on Sunday. … Hawkinson entered the game leading the Pac-12 and was fifth in the nation with 19 double-doubles.

Oregon State: Through Friday, Oregon State’s strength of schedule was first in the nation. … The Beavers honored five seniors before the game, including Payton. … Payton leads the Beavers in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. The only Beaver to do so over the course of a full season was Lester Conner in 1981-82.

TOURNEY PUSH

Oregon State now has five wins in its last seven games and is viewed as an NCAA Tournament bubble team by several analysts. The last time the Beavers experienced March Madness was in the elder Payton’s senior season in 1990.

STAYING HUNGRY

Coach Tinkle said he loved the direction his team was going, but he added the Beavers can’t get complacent. “We’re going to stay focused and we’re going to stay hungry knowing that our best basketball needs to be in front of us.”

REBUILDING

Kent said Washington State remained on track during its rebuilding process. “I’ve done this before. We rebuilt Saint Mary’s and it’s still a championship program today. We rebuilt Oregon and it’s still a championship program today. Both of those programs had growing pains like this. They didn’t have as many injuries as we had this year.”

UP NEXT

Washington State: Plays at rival Washington on Wednesday.

Oregon State: Plays at Southern California on Wednesday.


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