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Oregon State's Turnaround Season Stays Alive... Oregon State 71, Vermont 70

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Nearly a year ago, Bob De Carolis was trolling the hotel lobby at the NCAA Final Four looking for prospective head coaches. The team had just finished 0-18 in the Pac-10 conference, and had turned into the laughing stock of college basketball. Hardly anybody was willing to coach the Beavers, except for the unheard of Craig Robinson, who has the Beavers playing deep into the post-season in his first year as head coach of the Beavers... I mean, who really cares if we're playing in the CBI. It's still an outstanding accomplishment.

The Beavers beat Vermont 71-70 on Monday night in overtime at Gill Coliseum, rallying back from a seven point defecit in the second half. The Beavers eventually won the game on a Calvin Haynes jumper with six seconds left in the extra period, a high bank-shot off of a Roeland Schaftenaar screen.

The Beavers and the Catamounts had never played each other, which allowed Coach Robinson to run OSU's bread-and-butter offense, which Pac-10 foes practically smothered in the second half of the season.

Haynes led the Beavers offensively with 19 points, going 8-of-13 from the field, but no shot was bigger than the jumper he created with six seconds remaining in overtime. Schaftenaar added 14 points, playing in a team-high 40 minutes. He also was the main guy in charge of containing Marqus Blakely on defense. Blakely scored 17 points in the game, but Schaftenaar's defense was part of the reason why the Catamounts had to ride Mike Trimboli so heavily down the stretch.

"That's what you have to expect," Robinson said of Roeland's performance. "At this time of the year, either you play, or go home"

Vermont, who had won 15 of their last 17 games before playing the Beavers, defeated Green Bay in overtime in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. They entered the game against Oregon State with a record of 24-8, a much superior record when compared to OSU's 14-17 mark. 

The game saw 27 lead changes, the last of course coming with six seconds left in overtime. 

"This is the type of game you have to win when you're building a program," Coach Robinson said after the game. "And it's good to see [Calvin] have a good game after he's struggled in the past few games."

The Beavers are in an unusual and unique situation due to the fact that they're playing in the post-season, yet they continue to play at home. The announced crowd of 4,035 was a big factor in the Beavers' win. 

"I think the crowd won it for us," Oregon State guard Calvin Haynes said after the game. "If we didn't have the crowd today, it would have been even tougher than it was."

Oregon State moves on to play Stanford for the fourth time of the season Wednesday night at Gill Coliseum. The Cardinal were the team who knocked the Beavers out of the Pac-10 Tournament two weeks ago in Los Angeles. 

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)