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Stevie Thompson doesn’t shy away from late game moments when players step up and decide in a split second that their team’s fate will fall in their hands.

In less than three full seasons, the Oregon State junior guard has made numerous game changing and game winning plays, sending his teammates, coaches and fans into euphoria.

Thompson did it again this past Saturday, dribbling to find himself some room to operate then hoisting a 3 pointer in the final second to give the Beavers a 97 94 double overtime Pac 12 men’s basketball win against Washington at Gill Coliseum.

“I really, really enjoy those situations. I feel like that’s when the game is most fun,” Thompson said. “I’m a really competitive person, and in those situations I want to do all that I can to make a play for my team.”

His highlight reel play Saturday didn’t first come without some hurdles to overcome.

Thompson missed short, potential game winning jumpers near the end of regulation and the first overtime, then failed on two free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining, resulting in a second extra period.

Teammate Drew Eubanks put his arm around Thompson after the foul shots and reminded him that he wanted him to keep taking crucial shots and making plays.

Thompson learned from his father, Oregon State assistant coach and former college star Stephen Thompson, what it meant to have a shooter’s mentality.

“Growing up, my dad always told me to remain confident no matter what and always believe in yourself,” Stevie Thompson said. “My teammates did a good job of making sure I remained confident after those missed free throws and it paid off.”

His winning shot gave him 22 points to go with six assists and a career high six steals.

Thompson’s first clutch moments in a Beavers uniform came two seasons ago at home against Utah.

Rushing up court to get off a desperation heave, Thompson drew contact from Brandon Taylor and was awarded three free throws. He made all three and the Beavers had the 71 69 win plus momentum that pushed them to victories in six of their last nine regular season games and an NCAA tournament berth.

Thompson scored eight points in the last 2:22 as OSU erased a 10 point deficit with less than eight minutes remaining.

Three weeks later, his 3 pointer from the left wing gave Oregon State an 82 81 home win against Washington.

The Beavers went into the regular season finale at UCLA believing they needed one more win to reach March Madness, and Thompson helped put them there.

The freshman guard missed his first nine shots but made his last seven, including four 3 pointers, and scored all 23 of his points after halftime to help Oregon State to an 86 82 win.

Thompson had Utah’s number again last season.

His layin with 10 seconds left put the Beavers ahead for good as OSU secured its only Pac 12 win of the season. Thompson scored 24 of his career high 31 points in the second half, including a layup with 27 seconds remaining to pull within one.

Earlier this season, Thompson nearly pulled off a miracle finish almost single handedly at Kent State.

He scored 14 points in the final 44 seconds,
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including four 3 pointers, in the Beavers’ 79 78 loss in their final contest before conference play. OSU nearly came back from nine points down with 1:27 to go.

Having played with Thompson for three years, Eubanks says he’ll do whatever he can to get Stevie the ball.

“I just know in crunch time there’s nobody I’d rather get the ball to than him, and he’s only proven that over the years,” said Eubanks, who also had a big game against the Huskies with 18 points on 8 of 8 shooting, a season high 13 rebounds, three assists and four blocks.

“If we need a bucket, I’m going to him every time. I put all my faith in him.”

Coach Wayne Tinkle, in his fourth season with the Beavers after 12 years at Montana, his alma mater, isn’t new to clutch players and performances.

In 2010, Montana’s Anthony Johnson scored his team’s final 21 points and 34 of his school record 42 in the second half to lead the Grizzlies from 22 points down to a 66 65 win against Damian Lillard and host Weber State in the Big Sky Conference tournament championship game in Ogden, Utah.

Will Cherry and Kareem Jamar had their moments as well, helping the Grizzlies to a 34 2 conference record in Tinkle’s last two seasons in Missoula.

“We always talk about, you’ve got to be tough enough to take those shots and humble when you make them. But then also to take the criticism if it’s not a great look or the best decision,” Tinkle said. “The guys that have the confidence to do that, I think, are the ones that separate themselves.”

Tres Tinkle, the coach’s son, was plenty clutch himself last week, putting together two big games in helping Oregon State to its first conference two game sweep of the season and later being named the Pac 12 player of the week.

Tinkle said he and Thompson often tell each other to keep shooting,
ugg gloves sale Thompson has 'most fun' in pressure spots
even if the shots aren’t falling. A reminder of the confidence the team’s top two scorers have in the other.