Led by Deane & Johnson, OSU perseveres in win

BY ALL RIGHTS, the Beavers shouldn't have been in it at halftime of their first round game in the CBI against Houston. Oregon State couldn't buy a bucket, and the only thing that kept them close after 20 minutes was that Houston was actually shooting the ball worse. But a block by Omari Johnson led to a Beaver resurgence and Oregon State advanced to the quarterfinals with a 49-45 win.

Houston's offensive rebounding bedeviled OSU much of the night in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. And the Beavs were looking up at a 32-27 deficit with just under 10 minutes left in the game.

That's when Omari Johnson took over.

A monster block by Johnson sparked the Beavs on a 10-2 run.

The decisive rally was kicked off by Daniel Deane, Oregon State's most consistent offensive performer on the night, who made it 6-for-6 from the field with a bucket on the other end following Johnson's swat. A Houston turnover preceded a backdoor cut by Calvin Haynes off an inbounds by Rickey Claitt to bring the Beavs to within a point, 32-30 with 8:47 on the clock.

Another Houston turnover and then a rare sight on this night - a perfectly hoisted OSU 3-pointer. This one off the hand of Johnson gave the Beavers the lead 34-32 and everyone wearing orange and black inside Gill Coliseum was finally feeling it.

Houston reclaimed the lead on a three-pointer of their own but the Beavs eventually tied it up later on a pair of Johnson free throws with 4:33 left in the game.

In crunch time, Johnson was still feeling it. Oregon State down the stretch cleaned the defensive glass better than they had much of the game and Johnson's put back slam off a Haynes miss gave Oregon State a 40-38 lead. And Johnson wasn't done.

Another Johnson stand still three pointer gave OSU their largest lead of the game, 43-38, with 2:13 on the clock. And after a pair of Houston free throws, Johnson's drive and assist to Deane under the bucket gave Oregon State some breathing room again with 1:15 remaining.

But there was still drama to unfold.

Schaftenaar had a turnover and missed the front end of a pair of one-and-ones from the line. Suddenly, Houston had the ball, trailing by a deuce, with 18.4 seconds left. But Houston's three-ball went begging and Haynes scored the final points of the game from the line to close out the win.

Johnson scored all 11 of his points, including two three-pointers, in the second half. Deane led the Beavers with 14.

Houston packed the middle and dared OSU to shoot from outside in the first half. The Beavs obliged, but missed shot after shot -- OSU was a woeful 26.1 percent from the field before halftime and only climbed to that high a mark in the closing moments before the break.

A low scoring, mistake filled first half was the end result and Houston, who actually shot worse from the field, led 19-16 at half -- Deane accounting for Oregon State's sole inside threat in the first half. Indeed, Roeland Schaftenaar didn't score a point until the second half.

Houston looked to rush a double team at Schaftenaar most every time he touched the ball, so the Beavs rarely ran the offense through their forward-point much of the game. When Schaftenaar did have some daylight, his passing was true and led to Oregon State buckets, every one of which was key in the four-point win.

Oregon State will host Vermont, a 76-72 winner over Green Bay, next Monday at Gill in the quarterfinals.

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