OLYMPIA — Southern Oregon doubled up Evergreen at halftime and held off the Geoducks in the second half to earn a 75-56 Cascade Collegiate Conference men's basketball victory Saturday night and claim its first 20-win season since 2005-06.
The win virtually assures SOU (20-8, 11-5 CCC) of a top-four conference finish, which would give the Raiders a home game in the first round of the conference tournament on Feb. 20. Southern Oregon currently sits in third place with a 11/2-game lead over Northwest and a two-game lead over Concordia with two games to go. The Raiders hold the individual tie-breaker advantage over both teams.
Kyle Tedder led SOU with 15 points, while David Sturner fell one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards. Terriel Thomas finished with 11 points and Jordan West and Jacob Kaler each added 10.
For Evergreen (2-22, 1-15), Frankie Johnson tallied a game-high 22 points and Cody Peters added 12.
The Raiders scored the first nine points of the game and rarely looked back, connecting on 55.2 percent of their shots (16-of-29) in the opening period while limiting Evergreen to 21.2 percent shooting (7-of-33) during that stretch. Southern Oregon went more than five minutes without a point to open the second half, but Evergreen made only one of nine shot attempts during that stretch.
The Raiders return home for the final weekend of the regular season. They will host Corban on Friday and Northwest Christian on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
EVERGREEN 68, SOUTHERN OREGON 65 — At Olympia, Wash., Southern Oregon's late comeback effort fell short in Cascade Conference action at CRC Gymnasium.
With two games to go in the regular season, the Raiders (19-9, 8-8 Cascade) are firmly set in the fifth-place spot in the conference standings, three games behind third-place Oregon Tech and Warner Pacific and two games ahead of sixth-place Northwest Christian. The top eight teams advance to the first round of the CCC Tournament, which begins Feb. 19.
Alexi Smith tallied a team-high 16 points, while Carly Meister posted her third double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Ashley Claussen and Melissa Sweat each finished with 10 points in the loss.
Sammi Clark led Evergreen (6-15, 5-12) with 18 points, and both Danielle Swain and Jessica Denmon posted double-doubles for the Geoducks. Swain finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Denmon tallied 11 of each in the win.
Southern Oregon shot only 36.8 percent (21 of 57) in the game, its second lowest single-game shooting percentage of the season. Evergreen shot 42.1 percent from the field, attempting the same 57 shots as SOU but with three more makes.
SOUTHERN OREGON 41, PACIFIC 6 — At Ashland, the second-ranked Southern Oregon wrestling team closed out the regular season with an impressive rout of Pacific during senior night at Bob Riehm Arena.
Senior Mitchell Lofstedt, the nation's top-ranked 125-pounder, put the Raiders (12-3) on the board in the opening match with a pin of Pacific's Daylin Ruggerio in 2:41. The two-time NAIA national champion and three-time All-American wasted no time jumping to a 10-1 lead on Ruggerio just a minute into the action. The victory improved Lofstedt to 28-1 and 146-19 for his career. He now has 17 pins this year and 76 pins for his career.
After a Pacific win at 133, the Raiders started to roll. Prescott Garner, the top-ranked wrestler at 133, moved up to 141 and it showed no ill-effects as he scored a pin in 5:23.
Second-ranked Jimmy Eggemeyer scored a 9-1 major decision victory at 149, and 11th-ranked Dalton Urrutia also had a major decision victory at 157 to pace the Raiders out to a 20-3 lead halfway through the dual.
Senior Derek Mestrovich kept the momentum on SOU's side at 165 with a 13-7 victory, while top-ranked Brock Gutches jumped out to a dominating early lead at 174 before scoring a pin in 4:09.
Second-ranked Taylor Thomas scored SOU's fourth pin of the night at 197 in 48 seconds and Bubba Owens recorded pin No. 5 with a fall in 1:35 in the heavyweight match.
Southern Oregon will head to Great Falls, Mont., next week for the NAIA Regional Qualifying Tournament.
HUSKY INDOOR CLASSIC — At Seattle, Southern Oregon earned a distance medley relay victory and finished with three NAIA national automatic qualifying marks at the Husky Indoor Classic.
The men's distance medley relay team opened the meet with a dominant performance in its first competition of the year. The squad finished the race in 9:58.77, defeating second-place Western Oregon by almost four seconds and posting the best time in the NAIA this season by almost eight seconds. Zach Boyd-Helm ran the 1200-meter leg, with Jonz Olander running 400 meters, Kevin Jorgensen going 800 meters and Eric Avila taking the mile to surpass the NAIA 'A' qualifying time by almost 25 seconds.
Sullivan Stevens opened the second day of the meet with a seventh-place performance in the 60-meter hurdles. An NAIA All-American in the event last season, Stevens finished with a time of 8.23 to surpass the NAIA 'A' qualifying time and rank in the NAIA top 10 this season. Mikayla Garrard followed with a 'B' provisional qualifying time of 59.52 in the 400-meter dash, finishing 43rd in a race.
The Raiders' 4x400-meter relay team won their section and took seventh overall. Nick Perrino, Josh Muswieck, Sullivan Stevens and Jonz Olander finished in a time of 3:20.14 to take down NCAA Division I schools Portland State, Washington State and Portland in their section. The mark is also an NAIA 'A' qualifier, giving Southern Oregon three automatic qualifying marks for the weekend.
RAIDERS PULL UPSET — At Redding, Calif., a 4-3 upset of fifth-ranked Concordia (Calif.) highlighted Southern Oregon's second day at the Simpson Tournament, as the Raiders fell 9-1 to William Jessup and 10-2 to Vanguard to end up 3-3 for the weekend.
The win over Concordia came in Game 2. Southern Oregon got three hits but took advantage of three Concordia errors.
Julia Willison drove in a pair of runs, and Stephanie Vandenbusch added an RBI for the Raiders. Sydney White pitched the win, giving up three runs on seven hits.
Against William Jessup, SOU managed only two hits by Willison and Vandenbusch.
Against Vanguard, Vandenbusch had a hit and the Raiders' lone RBI, while Ashley Lowe and Alexa Gonzalez also had hits.