EL PASO, Texas -- Rickey Claitt was 5-of-6 on 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 28 points for Oregon State, carrying the Beavers to an 81-73 victory over UTEP in Game 3 of the College Basketball Invitational championship series Friday night.
"I was shooting and everything was going in," Claitt said. "I kept shooting until I missed. This is phenomenal for us. This rockets us into next year."
Oregon State shot 56.5 percent from the field to 50 percent for the Miners.
"For us, 19 3-pointers is too many," said Beavers coach Craig Robinson, whose team was 0-16 in the Pac-10 last season. "But when you make 12, it's not too many. It just shows our progression from a terrible shooting team to one that shoots 60 percent from the field."
Oregon State held the lead for the final 31 minutes after an early 17-4 run, though UTEP trimmed a 10-point deficit to 52-50 on Culpepper's 3-pointer with 9:47 remaining. The Beavers answered with a 14-2 run to stretch the lead to 66-52, and they withstood a late Miners rally for the victory.