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Oregon State will have a lot to prove when it hosts pesky Princeton on Sunday afternoon in Corvallis, Ore.
The Beavers are coming off a 78-77 home loss to Samford on Thursday night in which they trailed by 10 at halftime and spent the entire second half attempting to catch up.
Oregon State (1-3) finally climbed that mountain, taking a 75-73 lead with 1:27 to go, only to see Samford withstand the comeback and complete the upset.
"I tried to hit them from a very, sincere heartfelt place," Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle coach said of his pregame talk, which didn't work.
He added: "(We're) very selfish right now, and I've done a bad job of not bringing this group together right now.
"Unfortunately, we haven't been able," he added, "to put all that stuff aside and play the way we're supposed to play. We are not good enough right now to think that should be a blowout or an easy win."
Tinkle, whose team is shooting 29.1 percent from 3-point range, added, "Until we come together as a team, until we be our brother's keeper, it's not going to be pretty, but we have the road map and we will get there."
But it might not be easy to get there against a Princeton team that is holding opponents to 24.7 percent shooting from the field. The Tigers knocked off South Carolina on a neutral court and took Minnesota to double overtime before falling at that same venue.
After his team's 80-61 victory over visiting Marist on Wednesday, Princeton coach Mitch Henderson praised the bounce back of the Tigers from that "gut punch," as he termed it, adding, "Sometimes you forget about how that feels."
That's because the Tigers (3-1), like the rest of the Ivy League, didn't play last season because of COVID-19 concerns.
Fatigue could be a factor. This will be the Tigers' fourth game in 10 days after that year-long layoff.
The college basketball community knew about Princeton's brilliant guard Jaelin Llewellyn (13.5 points per game), but Ryan Langborg (13-for-28, 46.4 percent from 3-point range) has emerged as a complementary offensive weapon.
--Field Level Media