By Steve Overbey

The Associated Press

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Oregon St. vs. Texas A&M

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

TV: Pac-12

ST. LOUIS — Javon Bess did not even look at the numbers.

The Saint Louis University guard knew he was coming off one of the worst performances of his career in a five-point loss to Southern Illinois on Wednesday.

Three days later, Bess more than made up for it.

The 6-foot-6-inch guard poured in a career-high 24 points as Saint Louis narrowly defeated Oregon State 65-61 on Sunday.

Fred Thatch Jr. had 16 points for Saint Louis (7-2). Carte’Are Gordon added 11 points off the bench.

Ethan Thompson led Oregon State (6-2) with 22 points, one short of his career best. He also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Tres Tinkle had 15 points and 10 boards. Stephen Thompson Jr. added 10 points.

Bess hit on 9 of 16 shots from the field and made three key 3-pointers against the Beavers. He missed nine of 10 shots in the Billikens’ loss earlier in the week.

“I don’t worry too much about numbers,” said Bess, who has been nursing a sore ankle. “I got to practice and just tried to regroup.”

“He continues to amaze me with what he does,” Saint Louis coach Travis Ford said. “He totally changed the game.”

Bess also led a strong defensive charge that limited Oregon State to 9-of-27 shooting in the second half.

“With me and (Bess) going at the same time, it’s going to be tough for teams to score,” Thatch said.

The Billikens closed the game on a 15-8 run over the final 5:46. Bess scored eight of those points, including a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 62-56.

Thatch, a freshman, also hit a big shot down the stretch. His fallaway 3-pointer as the shot clock expired gave the hosts some breathing room at 60-56.

Thatch was making his first start of the season, replacing Tramaine Isabell Jr., who is out with a leg injury.

“This is a process for me,” Thatch said. “Playing a lot more helped. I could play through my mistakes and not be timid.”

Oregon State rallied from a 12-point deficit early in the second half to take a 53-50 lead on a basket by Stephen Thompson with 6:21 remaining.

“The second half we challenged our guys to get together and do something,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “It came down to a couple loose balls that they got and we didn’t.”

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