What Gill Coliseum was to Oregon State on Monday, the Don Haskins Center was to UTEP on Wednesday. The Miners used the home court advantage and some timely rebounds to muster a late-game run that propelled them over the Beavers 70-63 in Game 2 of the CBI Championship Series. The two teams will now play again on Friday in a decisive, winner-take-all Game 3.
The Beavers led by five points at the halftime break, with Roeland Schaftenaar scoring 12 points in the first twenty minutes. UTEP struggled containing him defensively in the half, which prompted the crowd to latch on to Roeland and ridicule him the entire second half.
"We knew they'd have a good crowd, and I thought we handled all of that well," Craig Robinson said after the game.
The Beavers were close to being in position to win or at least tie the game late, but they failed to get big rebounds when they were needed most. The Beavers and Miners' rebounding numbers were nearly identical, but UTEP seemed to get the timely rebounds down the stretch.
"Rebounding: that's the first thing that jumps out at you about this game," Coach Robinson said. "We just came up a little bit short."
Roeland Schaftenaar led the Beavers in the points column with 17, with just five of those coming in the second half. Calvin Haynes contributed 10, and Lathen Wallace had three three-pointers to finish with nine points.
After shooting the ball extremely well in Game 1 of the Championship Series, the Beavers seemed to be to aggressive from behind the arc. Oregon State was 7-of-26 from three-point range, which is just too many deep shots.
The Beavers have to understand that they shoot a high percentage when they run the offense will and get easy shots... they're not going to shoot over 50% hurling up threes.
But for most of the game, the Beavers did run their offense well. There were stretches when UTEP controlled the tempo and Oregon State simply forced things-- but for a larger part of the game, the Beavers made the necessary passes and cuts to maintain a lead.
However, in the end, it came down to clutch rebounding, and UTEP won the battle. The Beavers gave the Miners extra shots, and UTEP took advantage.
The Miners got 28 points from Stefon Jackson, and 17 from Randy Culpepper.
Game three of the series is scheduled for Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Haskins Center.