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Oregon State stops UTEP to win CBI series title

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.

Oregon State made 12-of-19 3-point shots for a 2-1 series win, which clinched its first postseason title in school history. Lathen Wallace added 13 and Roeland Schaftenaar scored 12 for the Beavers.

"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."

Stefon Jackson, the all-time leading scorer for UTEP (23-14) and Conference USA, led the Miners with 26 points. Arnett Moultrie added 19, and Randy Culpepper had 16.

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.