Oregon St. 66, Towson 46
President Barack Obama watched brother-in-law Craig Robinson
guide Oregon State to a 66-46 victory over Towson on Saturday.
The crowd inside Towson’s arena erupted in cheers as Obama and
first lady Michelle Obama entered and shook fans’ hands as they
made their way to courtside seats.
Daughters Malia and Sasha sat in the first row of the bleachers.
Also attending were Obama’s mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, and
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a former professional basketball
player and friend of Obama’s from Chicago.
Devon Collier scored 13 points for Oregon State (5-1), which
bounced back from its first loss of the season Monday night against
Vanderbilt. Jared Cunningham, Joe Burton and Roberto Nelson had 12
”When a Pac-12 team comes to a place like this, it’s a big
game,” Robinson said. ”Then, my relatives are here, so it’s even
bigger. We needed an environment like this. It was a true road
Towson dropped its home opener for the first time since 2005,
falling to 0-5 under first-year coach Pat Skerry. Marcus Damas had
18 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers.
”It was a great atmosphere today for a college basketball
game,” Towson coach Pat Skerry said. ”Hopefully, that is
something that could become the norm here at Towson University. We
ran into a very talented, well-coached, ball-moving team in Oregon
State. In the first half, they really seized control of
Oregon State closed with a 12-2 run to take a 32-20 lead into
the break. A layup by Collier increased the lead to 51-34 with 12
”We play in a conference that has really good fans so we like
to get a lot of pressure,” Robinson said. ”(Towson) is a good,
fan-followed team. You know it’s going to be full when the
president and first lady are here.”
Catching an Oregon State game has become a post-Thanksgiving
tradition for the Obamas.
Last year, Robinson and the Beavers came to Washington and
defeated Howard. The year before that, Oregon State traveled east
and scored a win against George Washington.
”This is my third time doing it and it’s always a great feeling
having the president come to watch your game,” said Cunningham,
Oregon State’s junior guard. ”Other teams are always going to play
their hardest because it’s on their home court. We did a good job
At halftime, Obama was surrounded by the entire Towson football
team, which was honored for winning the Colonial Athletic
Association regular-season title. The team dispersed after coach
Rob Ambrose jokingly threatened an impromptu practice.
Actor Bill Murray, whose son, Luke, is an assistant coach at
Towson, also attended the game and spent several minutes talking
with the Obamas. He sat in the third row of the bleachers and posed
for pictures with several fans.