It’s not often that division III universities get a chance to test themselves against D-I squads, but the Pacific Boxers traveled to Gill Coliseum Friday night to face off against the Oregon State Beavers. The result was as expected, with OSU easily handling Pacific, 64-33.
Oregon State easily built a 33-9 lead at the half, but the Boxers didn’t let their scholarship opponents keep them down for too long. In the second half, Pacific started out strong, allowing just 6 points over the first 6 minutes, cutting the lead to 19 points, 41-22.
But the Beavers quickly reasserted themselves, building their biggest lead of the night – 33 points – with 1:34 remaining in the game. Pacific cut the lead to 31 by the time the game ended.
Second-year Pacific Head Coach Tim Cleary was proud of his team’s performance. “Our guys competed and we actually held them scoreless for a seven-minute stretch of the second half,” Cleary said. “It was all about how we competed. We’ll use it as a building block and a learning tool. There are a lot of good things to take from this.”
Pacific, though, will also take home a hefty paycheck for the game; Division I college programs around the country often pay lesser opponents to come play them, making it a win-win for both schools. In this case, Pacific received money and valuable experience against D-I scholarship athletes. In addition Oregon State was able to play a low-key exhibition game to get a feel for their squad, playing time for their younger athletes, and help support small college athletics at the same time.
Exposure should certainly help Pacific gain more interest from Oregon athletes. Fellow Northwest Conference member Willamette University did a similar thing this year, with its football team traveling to Portland to play Portland State University.
Pacific University will host NAIA Evergreen State on Tuesday, November 15, to begin their official 2011-12 season.
The school may be receiving the most publicity its garnered in decades. The football team won its first game since 1990 last week; the football team also had a play featured on Sportscenter’s Top Ten plays earlier in the season; the men’s soccer team won the NW Conference title last year; and the basketball team played Oregon State University.
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© 2011 Max Price – All Rights Reserved.
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