Beavers Fall To Cal State Fullerton In Overtime NIT Battle, 85-83

March 17, 2005

By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Ralphy Holmes hit a jump shot at the buzzer and CalState Fullerton held off Oregon State 85-83 in overtime Wednesday night toadvance in the NIT for the first time.

Holmes and Bobby Brown each had 27 points to lead the Titans, who are makingtheir third NIT appearance. Fullerton will play San Francisco (17-13) in afirst-round game. The Dons beat Denver 69-67 Wednesday night.

The Titans' leading scorer and rebounder, Holmes was mobbed by his teammatesafter hitting the game-winning shot. Oregon State's Chris Stephens, who hadbeen guarding him, crumbled to the court in grief.

Holmes also had 13 rebounds.

Fullerton (20-10) , with its first winning season since 1992-93, squanderedan 18-point lead they built at the start of the second half.

Oregon State (17-15) trailed by 70-59 with a little more than 5 minutesleft. Sparked by J.S. Nash's 3-pointer, the Beavers went on a 15-4 run to makeit 74-74. Nick DeWitz's long jumper for Oregon State bounced off the rim astime ran out, sending the game into overtime.

David Lucas had 26 points and DeWitz added 18 points and 13 rebounds to leadOregon State, which fell behind 51-35 at the half.

Fullerton tied for third place in the Big West Conference at 12-6. TheTitans lost 84-77 to Utah State in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

It was Fullerton's third Pac-10 opponent in the NIT. The Titans lost toByron Scott and Arizona State in Tempe in 1983 and to Kevin Johnson andCalifornia in Berkeley in 1987.

It was Oregon State's first postseason appearance since 1990. The Beavershave not been to the NIT since 1987.

The Titans and the Beavers had met just once before, with Oregon Statewinning 68-35 at Gill Coliseum in 2000.

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