Area Men

Howard Beats Obama's Brother-in-Law, Oregon State in College Basketball

Craig Robinson, the men's basketball coach for Oregon State University, is also the brother-in-law of President-elect Barack Obama.
By Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 15, 2008

The fans who flocked to tiny Burr Gymnasium last night didn't see any future world leaders, but they launched a resplendent celebration nonetheless.

Howard University's 47-45 victory over Oregon State spoiled the debut for first-year Beavers coach Craig Robinson, the brother-in-law of President-elect Barack Obama, and prompted many of the more than 2,000 fans in attendance to dance in the aisles. A few dozen, including a man wearing a Howard cape, stormed the court.

"I am glad the crowd didn't leave when Obama didn't come," an ecstatic Howard coach Gil Jackson said. "They stormed the court? I have never seen that. They stormed the court at Howard."

A little more than two miles from the White House, Howard showed just how hard Robinson's job will be at Oregon State. It took Obama 20 months to make a quick ascension from senator to president-elect. Robinson, who spent the past two seasons as Brown's head coach, knows it will take longer to turn the Beavers into a contender.

"It will not take 20 months," Robinson said. "We have to recruit some better players. We have to change a culture from losing to winning."

The Beavers have had only one winning season since 1990 and have now lost 22 consecutive games. Robinson is under no illusion that his job will be easy, but he maintains reason for optimism at a school few believe can be a contender in the Pacific-10.

"These guys are better than what I was told they would be," Robinson said. "When I took this job, the people I trust told me we had a bunch of bad guys who didn't play hard. I think you saw that last year. This wasn't the same team."

Howard attacked Oregon State's 2-3 zone by making 9 of 29 three-point shots.

With 8.2 seconds left, Oregon State raced the ball upcourt with a chance to tie. Forward Daniel Deane, who had been called for traveling on the previous possession, drove to the basket and tossed up a layup attempt.

The ball tantalizingly rolled around the rim before finally falling to the ground. Oregon State guard Josh Tarver stood motionless as fans started to race onto the court after Howard's first ever win against a Pacific-10 school.

"I told the guys that one play didn't lose the game," Robinson said. "It mattered, but it didn't lose the game."

Curtis White and Eugene Myatt both scored a game-high 13 points.

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