CBI Championship on the Line as Men's Hoops Faces UTEP

April 2, 2009

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Friday, April 3

Oregon State at UTEP, 7:05 PM



Radio: Beaver Sports Radio Network, Mike Parker (play-by-play)

Live Video: None

Live Audio: Click here!

Live Stats: Click here!

Television: HDNet



Oregon State vs. UTEP: Series tied 2-2

Corvallis, Ore.: Series tied 1-1

El Paso, Texas: Series tied 1-1

Neutral: Never Met


The College Basketball Invitational championship is on the line as the Oregon State men’s basketball team takes to the court for the final time this season when the Beavers travel to face UTEP for game three on Friday, April 3, at 7:05 p.m. The game will be carried live by HDNet (DirecTV 79 or 306; Dish 9422, Comcast 737) and can be heard over the Beaver Sports Radio Network with Mike Parker providing the call.


Oregon State enters game three with a record of 17-18 on the year after falling to UTEP, 70-63, in game two. Roeland Schaftenaar led the way for Oregon State in the loss with 17 points while Seth Tarver added eight and secured a career-high 15 rebounds against the Miners.


Oregon State is making its 21st postseason appearance as the four victories in the CBI mark the first time the Beavers have won four post-season games in school history.           


Oregon State meets UTEP for the fifth time in school history as the schools split the first four meetings. UTEP won the first meeting in Corvallis during the 1985-86 season while Oregon State won in El Paso the following year.


Oregon State enters the contest as one of the most improved teams in college basketball as the Beavers have won 11 more games than the 2007-08 squad, ranking the Beavers behind Missouri (+15) and LSU (+14) as the most improved teams this season.


A win in the final game will give Oregon State its first-ever post-season championship and would cap one of the most remarkable turnarounds in college basketball this season.



UTEP, led by head coach Tony Barbee, enters the contest with a record of 23-13 on the season as the Miners held on to defeat the Beavers to even the series with a 70-63 win in game two.


Stefon Jackson leads the UTEP attack with 24.5 points per game while Randy Culpepper is averaging 17.6 points per contest for the Miners.


UTEP is shooting 42.1 percent from the field while holding opponents to 42.9 percent from the floor. UTEP owns an impressive 12-4 mark in El Paso this season.



The contest with the Miners marks the fifth time the teams have met in school history. Before the two meetings this season, UTEP captured the first meeting with a win in Corvallis during the 1985-86 season while Oregon State won in El Paso the following year.



Oregon State’s 1-3-1 zone defense has received a lot of attention and the guard at the top of the zone, Seth Tarver, is a big reason why. The junior currently leads the Pac-10 Conference at 1.8 steals per game overall and led the league with 2.0 steals per game in conference play.  Should Tarver capture the regular season steals crown, it would be the first time an Oregon State player led the league in steals since Gary Payton led the league in 1990.


In addition to Tarver, the rest of the Oregon State defense has done its part as well, as the Beavers ranked second in steals in conference games, averaging 7.2 steals per game, and rank fifth overall at 6.8 steals per contest.



Sophomore Calvin Haynes has been the leading scorer ever since returning to the Oregon State line-up in the win against Nebraska as the guard has averaged 13.3 points through 29 games to rank 18th in the league in scoring. After scoring 14 in the win against Nebraska, Haynes came off the bench to score 20 points against Seattle Pacific. In reaching double figures in every game but six since his return, Haynes registered a career high with 25 points in the win at Stanford. In 29 appearances, Haynes leads the team with 20 games in double figures and has scored 20-plus points four times this season.


Rickey Claitt PLAYING WELL

Senior Rickey Claitt has had a solid senior season as the guard has stepped into a leadership role for the Beavers. Heading into game three against UTEP, Claitt ranks fifth on the team with 6.9 points per game. The workhorse has played nearly every minute for the Beavers this season as he ranks 10th in the Pac-10 Conference at 33.4 minutes per game.


One area in which Claitt has dramatically improved has been from the field, where the senior is currently hitting 54.0 percent of his shots including an impressive 44.4 percent from behind the arc (36-of-80).


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.



The term “point-center” has entered the Pac-10 Conference lexicon with the arrival of Craig Robinson at Oregon State as Roeland Schaftenaar has played the position and been pivotal in leading the Beavers to 17 victories this season.


In Pac-10 Conference games, Schaftenaar finished No. 7 in assist-to-turnover ratio. His 63 assists and 39 turnovers gave him a 1.6 ratio.


The “point-center” led Oregon State to its first Bay Area sweep since the 1992-93 season as the Beavers captured wins at California (69-65) and Stanford (77-62). In the wins, he averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals as he turned in an impressive 10-to-1 assist to turnover ratio for the weekend while earning Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors.



After struggling from the field last season, 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. Entering this contest against UTEP, Oregon State is shooting 46.4 percent and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 and 60th in the NCAA. In fact, the 46.4 percent is the highest field goal percentage for Oregon State since the 1992 season.


Oregon State is especially efficient within the three-point arc as the Beavers are hitting 52.4 percent of their two-point shots to rank 33rd in the country according to kenpom.com.


The Beavers shot 60.5 percent from the field against UTEP in game one, marking the 13th time this season Oregon State has shot 50 percent or better from the field. In fact, the Beavers have shot 58 percent or better from the floor on five occasions this season. Last year, Oregon State shot 50 percent or better on only two occasions.


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