Late in the game, Oregon State trimmed the deficit to 46-45 on two free throws by Seth Tarver but with a chance to take the lead, Daniel Deane was called for traveling with 10 seconds left in the game.
After a Howard free throw, Deane's runner to force overtime rimmed out at the buzzer.
Seth Tarver had nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first half, finishing with a team-high 10. He was the only Beaver in double figures.
Oregon State held Howard to 9-of-29 from 3-point range but shot only 4-of-17 from long range themselves. The Beavs' first year head coach Craig Robinson, brother-in-law to President Elect Barack Obama, is looking to implement a more active, motion offense at OSU with an increased focus on the defensive end.
The Associated Press reported a couple dozen fans, including a few wearing Obama memorabilia, rushed the Howard bench after one of the school's biggest wins in recent memory.
Howard is expected to be at the bottom of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this season after winning only six games a year ago, although they did return every player save for one graduating senior.
On the night, Oregon State shot a chilly 37 percent from the field, though Howard was even colder, at 36 percent. The Beavs connected on only 4-of-17 (23 percent) from beyond the arc.
Oregon State held the rebounding edge 34-30 but came up short to Howard in assists (11 to 5) and steals (4 to 3).
OSU's home opener is Nov. 24 against Yale.
The Beavs have now lost 22 straight, a losing streak that dates back to Dec. 19.
The Oregonian's Rachel Bachman, in Washington D.C. for the game, reported Oregon State's offense "looked tired" in the first half with many of the OSU shots coming up short.
Beavs drop hoops opener to Howard, 47-45
BeaverBlitz Top Stories
Staff Predictions: Boise StateOregon State hosts the Boise State Broncos on Saturday. Time for the BeaverBlitz staff weighs in with their predictions for the game.
BeaverBlitzYesterday at 2:18 PM
Keys to the Win: Boise StateWho else thought the Beavers would be tested more by Minnesota? Well, the Boise State game should be a better indicator of where the Beavers are as a team.
BeaverBlitzYesterday at 6:17 AM
DAM Podcast: Where are we at?Brandon Sprague from 1080 The Fan and Angie Machado from BeaverBlitz are back for a weekly look at Oregon State athletics.
BeaverBlitzThursday at 5:13 PM
Coach Andersen talks AD searchBeavers head coach Gary Andersen discusses the Beavers upcoming game against Boise State and the new search for an athletic director.
BeaverBlitzThursday at 3:10 PM
Wynter is ready to see Oregon StateIt is going to be a big weekend at Oregon State University. Campus will be bustling with the arrival of students back on campus, as fall term classes have just started up.
BeaverBlitzThursday at 1:03 PM