The most relieved man at Gill Coliseum on Thursday night had to be Oregon State's Jarmal Reid.
The ill-advised foul Reid committed in the final seconds didn't cost the Beavers a win because an opposing player subsequently made an even dumber mistake.
When Utah's Jordan Loveridge drew a foul on Reid and sank three consecutive free throws, the Utes moved in front by a single point with 2.2 seconds left. It seemed Utah was going to escape Corvallis with a victory until Utes' guard Brandon Taylor fouled Oregon State's Stephen Thompson as he went up for a half-court heave at the buzzer.
Referees reviewed the play for several minutes before ruling that Taylor's foul occurred with one tenth of a second left in the game. Thompson then calmly hit all three free throws, giving Oregon State a memorable 71-69 victory.
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"We can't completely put this on Brandon," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak told the Salt Lake City Tribune. "Brandon made the last error in the game. There were so many errors leading up to it, we just didn't look like a team that has their sights set on a championship."
The painful loss indeed will make it difficult for Utah to contend for a Pac-12 championship this season. The Utes (17-6, 6-4) fell into a fourth-place tie with Arizona and Colorado, two games behind first-place Oregon and one back of Washington and USC.
Utah led by 10 with under eight minutes to play, but the Utes could not hold the lead. Thompson scored all 13 of his points during the final eight minutes to spearhead Oregon State's comeback.
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