WASHINGTON (AP)—President-elect Barack Obama may have won, but his brother-in-law came up short in his trip to Washington in his debut game as Oregon State coach.
Craig Robinson, brother of Obama’s wife Michelle, and the Beavers fell 47-45 to Howard in the season opener for both teams on Friday night. He accepted the extra attention but cringed at the score.
“It was a treat to be here, except for the outcome,” said Robinson, whose sister Michelle is Obama’s wife. “I just haven’t had time to really think about it. Having been out on the campaing trail for 20 months with them, I’m used to the hoopla and hype that they get. I’m fine, as long as it doesn’t interfere with my guys’ college experience.”
Robinson comes from Brown to inherit a team that lost its last 19 games, went winless in the PAC-10 and finished 6-25.
A couple dozen fans—including a few wearing Obama memorabilia—rushed the Howard bench after one of the school’s biggest wins in recent memory.
“Did they swarm the court?” said Howard coach Gil Jackson. “I’ve never seen that. They’re swarming the court at Howard, at the Burr (Gym). That’s what we want to do.”
Trailing by as many as eight points, Oregon State cut it to 46-45 on two free throws by Seth Tarver. But Daniel Deane was called for traveling with 10 seconds left in the game. Howard’s Eugene Myatt hit one of two free throws and Dean’s runner rimmed out at the buzzer.
Myatt and Curtis White each scored Howard with 13 points, on a night where the Bison made nine 3-pointers.
Tarver scored 10 points for the Beavers, who held Howard to 9-of-29 from 3-point range but shot only 4-of-17 there themselves.
“It won’t take me 20 months to turn this program around” Robinson said. “It’s going to take longer than that. This is differrent. We have to recruit some better players, we have to get better at what we’re doing, and we have to change the culture from losing to winning.”