CORVALLIS — Tres Tinkle said it felt great being back on the court again.
"We put in so much work this offseason to make sure we show people what we're capable of doing," he said.
Tinkle had 24 points and six rebounds as Oregon State beat Southern Utah 99-82 in the season opener for both squads Friday night.
In his first game in nearly a year due to injury, Tinkle drove the lane, made free throws and scored from long distance. He shot 8-for-11 from the field.
Ethan Thompson had 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks in his first college game for the Beavers (1-0), who provided coach Wayne Tinkle with his 200th career win.
"I'm glad I got the first game out of the way, all the nerves away," Thompson said.
Jadon Cohee scored 21 points and Brandon Better scored 18 points for the Thunderbirds (0-1), who play in the Big Sky Conference.
"For our first game, Pac-12 opponent, seven new players . It was a good test for us," Southern Utah coach Todd Simon said.
Oregon State shot 54 percent for the game compared to 39 percent for Southern Utah. Referees called a whopping 62 personal fouls and seven players, including Oregon State big man Drew Eubanks, fouled out.
"I've never been a part of anything like that," Tinkle said.
The Thunderbirds shot 2-12 to start and committed seven early turnovers, allowing the Beavers to surge ahead 22-12 after a JaQuori McLaughlin lay-up at the 9:31 mark.
Oregon State closed the first half on an 11-1 run, capped by a buzzer-beating three-quarter-court heave by Tinkle that made the score 51-28.
The Beavers led by as many as 28 in the second half.
Eubanks added 16 points and seven rebounds and Stephen Thompson Jr. had 16 points and six rebounds for Oregon State.
Southern Utah: James McGee, who scored 15 on Friday, is the team's leading returning scorer, and averaged 14.2 points last season, when the Thunderbirds went 6-27. . Better and Cohee are both transfers.
Oregon State: The Beavers are trying to bounce back from a disastrous 5-27 season. Tinkle, the squad's top returning player and a sophomore, received a medical redshirt year after missing 26 games due to a broken wrist in 2016-17.
FAMILY TIES: Tinkle is the son of Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle, while Stephen Thompson Jr. and Ethan Thompson are the sons of assistant coach Stephen Thompson.
NEW STARTING FIVE: All five starters from last season returned for the Beavers, but freshman Ethan Thompson moved into the starting lineup. That pushed sophomore Kendal Manuel, who started 25 games last season, to the bench. In 21 minutes, he scored seven points and grabbed six boards.
CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: Simon thinks the Thunderbirds' early games, which include Long Beach State and Michigan State, will pay dividends. "We're hoping that our challenging non-conference schedule we have will get us ready to compete for a Big Sky championship-level season," he said.
Southern Utah plays at Boise State on Sunday.
Oregon State hosts Wyoming on Monday.