CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Kylor Kelley was a force in Oregon State’s 80-58 victory over Grambling State on Saturday.
The 7-foot senior post scored a career-high 22 points and had seven rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Kelley, who is fifth in the nation in blocked shots, was 7 for 8 from the field, including four dunks, and 8 of 9 from the foul line. He’s become more of an offensive threat, raising his scoring average from 7.7 last season to 13.2.
“Me and (OSU assistant coach Kerry Rupp) during the summer worked a lot on my game,” Kelley said. “But it’s also my guys really found me today. Give credit to that.”
The Beavers (5-1) never trailed in winning their third game in a row since losing to Oklahoma in the Phil Knight Invitational.
All four of Kelley’s dunks came on assists against Grambling State (3-2).
Kelley played at Northwest Christian College and Lane Community College before making the jump to Division 1 at Oregon State for his junior year. He was second in the nation in blocked shots last season, setting a school-season record with 104.
“He’s done a great job,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “I’m proud of the way he’s hung in there and trusted the people around him and it’s leading to good success for him on and off the court.”
Alfred Hollins scored 18 points, Tres Tinkle added 17 and Ethan Thompson had 13 for the Beavers.
Tinkle, a senior forward who leads the Beavers in scoring and rebounding, has scored in double figures 71 consecutive games.
Kelley scored 12 first-half points and the Beavers led 44-30 at the break.
The Tigers cut the lead to 52-42 early in the second half on Anthony Gaston’s 3-pointer, but they would not get closer.
Ivy Smith Jr. led Grambling State of the Southwestern Athletic Conference with 17 points and Devante Jackson added 13.
Grambling State coach Donte Jackson said Kelley “changes the game.”
“He affects the game defensively and offensively,” Jackson said. “He had seven blocks, but he probably had five alters.”
Oregon State shot 46.4%from the field compared with 37.3% for the Tigers, and had a 42-29 advantage on the boards.
Grambling State: Grambling State, which played in the CIT last season — its first postseason tournament appearance in 40 years — took a major step up in competition playing a Pac-12 school on the road. The Tigers had been averaging 101.5 points per game, which included a 147-52 victory over Ecclesia College.
Oregon State: The Beavers have won three in a row and remain unbeaten at home. Tinkle continues to put up impressive numbers and is tied for the national lead with four double-doubles.
Grambling State plays Portland State on Tuesday in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Oregon State plays San Jose State in the Las Vegas Classic on Wednesday.