CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Gary Payton II can fill up a stat sheet, but Oregon State Coach Wayne Tinkle said his star is showing leadership by mentoring the Beavers' nationally-lauded freshman class.
''When I get on (them) a little bit, he's always putting an arm around them and telling them it's going to be okay, and then through some of our x and o stuff, he's always talking to those guys,'' Tinkle said.
Payton had 16 points, six assists and six rebounds as Oregon State defeated Northwest Christian 74-52 Saturday.
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Three of the Beavers' freshmen scored in double digits in their college debuts for Oregon State (1-0). Drew Eubanks had 13 points and eight rebounds, Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 12, all on 3-pointers, and Tres Tinkle added 14 points.
Omar Richards had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Beacons (4-0).
While the game counted for Oregon State's record, it was an exhibition for Northwest Christian, a Eugene school ranked 12th in the NAIA Division II preseason poll.
''I was proud of the way our guys fought and competed. This is a few levels up from our competition, but we grew through the game,'' said Beacons Coach Luke Jackson.
Oregon State forced Northwest Christian into 18 turnovers, but the Beavers were hampered by poor free-throw shooting, going 14 for 30 from the line.
Both teams started slow. More than five minutes into the game, an Austin Kuemper lay-in gave the Beacons a 4-3 lead.
The Beavers responded with a 7-0 run, and all of the baskets were by freshmen, including a steal and coast-to-coast lay-in by Tinkle, the coach's son.
Oregon State led 33-27 at the break.
Tinkle said he challenged his squad to play aggressively at halftime. ''It wasn't pretty, but I loved the way our guys responded,'' Tinkle said.
''We have to come out with that oomph and that energy in the first half,'' Payton said.
The Beavers went on a 10-point run to start the second half, capped by a 3-pointer by Thompson, the son of assistant coach Stephen Thompson.
Oregon State pushed the lead to as many as 31 points.
Last season, Payton, the son of NBA-great Gary Payton, led Oregon State with 13.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game.
Jackson is a former All-American for Oregon State's archrival, Oregon.
FOUL TROUBLE: Northwest Christian came into the game led by Javonte Byrd's 16 points per game, but the senior guard got his fourth foul with about five minutes left in the first half and finished with three points.
RESPECT FOR GILL: Jackson, who won a state basketball title at Gill Coliseum as a Creswell High School senior, said that Oregon State shouldn't ever replace the facility. ''I love the old fieldhouse style. It's a great gym . I think it's on its way to becoming one of the hardest places to play in the country,'' Jackson said. Last season, the Beavers were 15-2 at home.
Oregon State: The Beavers were picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12 media poll. . Last season, the Beavers finished 17-14 overall and 8-10 in the Pac-12, the team's best league mark since 1992-93. . Oregon State returned all five starters for the first time in 11 years.
Northwest Christian: The Beacons were picked to finish second in the Cascade Collegiate Conference this season. . Last year, Northwest Christian ended the season 17-11 and finished fifth in the CCC. . The Beacons lost to Oregon 92-44 in an exhibition game on Nov. 3.
Oregon State hosts Iona on Tuesday.
Northwest Christian travels to Simpson University on Monday.