MISSOULA — With a 3-point basket with 2:53 to play in the first half of Oregon State's Thursday night game against Stanford, Missoula native and Hellgate High graduate Tres Tinkle etched himself into Oregon State lore as he became the men's basketball program's all-time leading scorer.
Tinkle surpassed Oregon State legend and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Gary Payton, who scored 2,172 points from 1987-1990.
Tinkle finished Thursday's game with 23 points on 6-for-15 shooting and knocked down six straight free throws in the final 1:25 as Oregon State got a much-needed Pac-12 Conference victory over Stanford, 68-65, at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon. The win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Beavers (16-13 overall, 6-11 conference).
Tinkle, a redshirt senior with the Beavers, began the game 0 for 4 from the field, including 0 for 3 from deep. However, Tinkle got a layup to go with 7:11 to play in the first half, followed quickly by a second layup to put him two points away from breaking the record.
He then knocked down the 3-pointer to pass Payton, but he wasn't done heating up. Tinkle finished with 12 points in the first half as OSU took a 34-32 lead into halftime.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't in my head," Tinkle said in a postgame interview on Pac-12 Networks, adding that he wanted to get it over with and ended up forcing his first couple of shots.
Oregon State led by as many as 10 in the second half, but Stanford rallied to make it a 62-61 Beaver lead with 1:48 to play. Tinkle then knocked down six straight free throws down the stretch to keep OSU at arm's length, and the Cardinal missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer which would've sent the game into overtime.
Tinkle finished 9 for 10 from the charity stripe and 2 for 7 from deep. He also grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists.
"We’re going to find the right moment to celebrate tonight and what he’s done but the great thing, and we shared this with the team, is what he stands for," OSU coach and Tres' father, Wayne Tinkle, said in the post-game press conference. "He’s been through adversity early in his career. He’s playing at the highest level, under the microscope, for his crotchety old man and he just all the while kept coming back and kept going to work."
Tinkle entered the evening with 2,167 points to his name. He now has 2,190 and will continue to rewrite his own record until his career with OSU is over.
Tinkle and the Beavers wrap up the regular season on Saturday at home against Cal before beginning postseason play at next week's Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.