The Beavers may have not been the most athletic team in the gym on Monday night, but they wanted it more. And they had the crowd on their side.
The Beavers took Game One of the CBI Championship Series from the Texas El-Paso Miners in front of 8,030 in Legendary Gill Coliseum by the score of 75-69. The crowd was definitely a factor in the game.
The Beavers led by as many as 21 in the second half, but UTEP used their speed and athleticism to chip away at the Beaver lead. They went on a 24-9 run over the next several minutes of play, and eventually whittled the lead all the way down to just three points with 1:14 to play in the game.
Roeland Schaftenaar led the Beavers with 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Lathen Wallace was just behind him with five three's and 18 points. Seth Tarver sccored 17, and Rickey Claitt scored 13.
The Beavers offense looked as good as it had in a long time on Monday night, as the Beavers were patient and made a lot of shots. It's rare to see an Oregon State team put up as many points as they did in a win, but the Beavers jumped out to a comfortable first half lead and matched the Miners in the second half.
Randy Culpepper scored 20 points for the Miners, and Stefon Jackson added 17. Oregon State's zone defense also turned in a great performance in the game.
The win over UTEP in Game 1 marked the first time ever that an Oregon State squad has won four post-season games. The series now moves to El Paso and the Dan Haskins Center, where the Beavers will look to end the CBI Championship Series on Wednesday night.