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

points apiece.

”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

game.”

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

things.”

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

minutes remaining.

”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

tonight.”

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.