Men's Hoops Hosts No. 9 UCLA in League Opener

Jan. 1, 2009

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Friday, Jan. 2
No. 9 UCLA at Oregon State, 7:33 PM

Radio: Beaver Sports Radio Network; Mike Parker (play-by-play)
Live Video: None
Live Audio: Click here!
Live Stats: Click here!
Television: FSN NW; Tedd Robinson (play-by-play); Marques Johnson (color); Michael Eaves (sideline)

Oregon State vs. UCLA: UCLA leads 82-34
Corvallis, Ore.: UCLA leads 34-25
Los Angeles, Calif.: UCLA leads 46-7
Neutral: Series tied 2-2

Winners of five of six, including four in a row, the Oregon State men's basketball team opens Pac-10 Conference play against three-time defending league champion and No. 9 UCLA when they host the Bruins on Friday, Jan. 2, at 7:33 p.m. The game will be televised by FSN and broadcast over the Beaver Sports Radio Network with Mike Parker making the call.

Oregon State rides a four-game winning streak into the contest as the Beavers claimed a 59-50 win over Seattle on Monday. Calvin Haynes scored a career-high 24 points in the victory as Daniel Deane added 10 points in the contest.

Calvin Haynes continues to shine since his return to the line-up as the sophomore guard leads the team with 18.8 points per game. Sophomore forward Omari Johnson is the other Oregon State player in double figures, averaging 11.3 points per game.

The Beavers enter league play as one of top shooting teams in the country as Oregon State is currently hitting 49.1 percent of its shots from the field and ranked No. 16 in the country in field goal percentage in the latest rankings.

UCLA leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 82-34, and has won seven straight in the series; however, the Beavers are 2-0 all-time against the Bruins when UCLA has opened league play in Corvallis.

UCLA, led by sixth year head coach Ben Howland, enter the contest as the three-time defending league champion as the Bruins have gone to three straight NCAA Final Fours. The Bruins, 10-2, have won six straight entering the week with losses to Michigan and Texas this season.

The pre-season favorites to win the Pac-10 Conference title, UCLA is led by guard Darren Collison, who leads the team with 14.3 points per game and 63 assists. Josh Shipp and Jrue Holliday are also in double figures for the Bruins, averaging 11.7 and 10.6 points, respectively.

UCLA has been effective from the field, hitting 50.1 percent of its shots from the field while holding opponents to 42.5 percent from the floor.

This is the 117th meeting between UCLA and Oregon State with the Bruins leading the series, 82-34. UCLA is 35-24 all-time in Corvallis, Ore.; however, Oregon State is 2-0 against the Bruins when UCLA opens league play in Corvallis. The Bruins have won seven straight meetings and 16-of-20.

Rickey Claitt PLAYING WELL
Senior Rickey Claitt has had a solid start to his senior season as the guard as stepped into a leadership role for the Beavers. Heading into this week, Claitt ranks fourth on the team with 8.9 points per game. The workhorse has played nearly every minute for the Beavers this season as he ranks fourth in the Pac-10 Conference at 35.2 minutes per game.

One area in which Claitt has dramatically improved has been from the field, where the senior is currently hitting 60.0 percent of his shots including an impressive 50.0 percent from behind the arc (14-of-28). Claitt currently ranks sixth in the league in field-goal percentage.

The senior has already established numerous career highs as Claitt scored a career-high 21 points against Montana State. Claitt surpassed his previous career best of 11 points in the first half alone, scoring 13. Claitt followed it up by going a perfect 5-of-5 from the field in the win against Fresno State, including a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc.

Sophomore Calvin Haynes has had a fast start since returning to the Oregon State line-up in the win against Nebraska as the guard has averaged 18.8 points through four games. After scoring 14 in the win against Nebraska, Haynes came off the bench to score 20 points against Seattle Pacific while playing a career-high 33 minutes. In reaching double figures in every game since his return, Haynes registered a career high with 24 points against Seattle. Through four games, Haynes has shot 64.1 percent (25-of-39) from the field while hitting 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from behind the three-point arc.

After struggling from the field last season, early indicators show the new offensive system in place has allowed Oregon State to dramatically improve its shooting numbers as the Beavers rank among the nation's best through 10 games. Entering this week, Oregon State is shooting 49.1 percent from the field to rank fourth in the Pac-10 and 16th in the latest NCAA rankings.

The Beavers shot 64.2 percent (34-of-53) from the field in the victory over Howard, marking the fifth time this season Oregon State has shot 50 percent or better from the field and the third time shooting 58 percent or better from the floor. Last year, Oregon State shot 50 percent or better on only two occasions.

Oregon State returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 4, as the Beavers host USC in a Pac-10 Conference game at 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised by FSN NW.

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