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March 31, 2009CORVALLIS, ORE. - UTEP nearly overcame a 21-point deficit, but Oregon State made the plays down the stretch in holding off UTEP, 75-69, in game one of the CBI Championship Series on Monday at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.
The Miners (22-13) will host game two of the series on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Mountain time, and game three if necessary on Friday at 8 p.m. A total of 8,000 tickets have been issued for Wednesday's game two at the Don Haskins Center.
The Beavers (17-17) led wire-to-wire, but had to sweat it out in the final minutes. UTEP whittled a 52-31 Oregon State lead down to three (66-63) on an Arnett Moultrie dunk with 1:14 remaining. But the Beavers strung together the next four points -- all on free throws -- to quell the rally.
Randy Culpepper led UTEP with 20 points, and Stefon Jackson added 17. But the Miners' top two scorers were a combined 13-for-38 from the field. The Beavers, meanwhile, shot 60.5 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from three-point range, both season highs by a UTEP opponent.
UTEP also shot only nine free throws after entering the game leading the nation in free throws made (687) and attempted (949). The Miners' previous season-low for free throw attempts was 16 on two occasions.
UTEP trailed 22-9 eight minutes into the game, but closed the gap to six points (35-29) at the half. Oregon State blew the game open by scoring the first 12 points of the second period.
Roeland Schaftenaar led the Beavers with 19 points. Lathen Wallace added 18 points and Seth Tarver had 17.