The election is over, Robinson's brother-in-law is now the Presidential elect, and it's almost time for the Men's Basketball season to begin.
The Beavers took care of their two exhibition opponents, Saint Martin's and Concordia, and open the regular season on Friday in Washington D.C.
In the exhibition opener against Saint Martin's, the Beavers squeaked out a narrow four point victory, winning by the score of 80-76. The Beavers found themselves ahead by ten points with three minutes left, but the Saints closed the gap quickly. Jake Linton hit a three pointer with just over a minute left to cut the Beaver lead to three, but the Beavers hit several crucial foul shots with under a minute left to preserve the victory.
Omari Johnson led the Beavers with a double-double-- 18 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Daniel Deane with 15 points and 6 boards. Seth Tarver also earned a double-double with eleven points and eleven rebounds. In total, five players scored in double figures, and the team had 16 total assists.
After the game, Robinson commented that, "It was a good test. St. Martin's played a great game. They played different defenses and it gave us the chance to work on some stuff."
Six days later, the Beavers looked more improved against Concordia, winning 82-57. Six players reached double figures in the contest. Daniel Deane led the troupe with 15 points, followed by Omari Johnson with 14 and Lathen Wallace with 13.
The Beavers quickly amassed a lead against Concordia, and led at one point in the first half by the score of 29-9. Oregon State led 31-17 at halftime, and continued to dominate in the second half. With 2:31 left in the game the Beavers held a 37 point lead, but managed to win by only 25.
After the game, Coach Robinson commented on the distribution of scoring and free throw shooting. The Beavers were 16 of 22 from the line-- 71.5%, and 10 of 12 in the second half. Oregon State shot 64.9% from the free throw line last year, which ranked 294th nationally. Hopefully the improvement against Concordia is a sign of things to come.
It was definitely a positive to see the team put up more than 80 points in both exhibition games- the Beavers average 59.9 points per game (ranking 317th nationally) last year. Granted, the competition wasn't nearly what it will be come Pac-10 time, but we need to start somewhere, right?
Oregon State will open the 2008-2009 season and begin the Craig Robinson era this Friday in Washington D.C. against Howard University. The game will be played at 7:00 Eastern, 4:00 Pacific.