ASHLAND — The high-scoring affair that the third-ranked Southern Oregon men's basketball team and No. 13 Concordia were expected to yield Friday never came to fruition at Bob Riehm Arena.
Concordia forward Adam Herman scored 32 points, but the rest of the Cavaliers were relatively confounded as the Raiders won 79-65 on the opening night of Cascade Conference play. The Cavaliers (7-2 overall), who entered as the highest-scoring team in the country, were held 40 points below their average and 10 percent below their usual clip of 55 from the field.
Eric Thompson provided a counter inside for Southern Oregon (10-1), which has won eight straight. The junior post scored 26 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while David Sturner complemented him inside with 15 points and 10 boards for his fifth straight double-double.
The Raiders were able to overcome 18 turnovers with 55-percent shooting (33-for-60). That, and the defense.
"We had a few things in the first five or six minutes defensively that went against our scouting report, but we played pretty well when we got that cleaned up," SOU head coach Brian McDermott said. "We weren't great offensively but I was very happy with the other end of the floor."
SOU led 34-32 at halftime. Herman's 3-pointer tied it for the first time, 39-all, before the Raiders came back with a 10-0 run to take control for good.
Kyle Tedder started it with a go-ahead 3-pointer, Thompson made one of his five 3-pointers on the next possession and David Sturner made a layup while enduring a foul right after that. Sturner missed the ensuing free throw but came up with an offensive rebound that he put away.
Another Herman 3 cut the lead to seven with 8:29 left, but Thompson answered with back-to-back triples of his own.
"There were three exceptional big men on the floor tonight," McDermott said, "and I'll tell you what — you probably won't ever see that in any other NAIA game."
Dex Daum came off the bench to make a 3-pointer and convert a three-point play down the stretch. He finished with 14 points, Tedder had 12 and Tim Weber dished out 10 assists to go with five rebounds.
The Raiders also cut their turnovers down to seven in the second half.
"We weren't great offensively, but when we ran our stuff we got good shots," McDermott said. "We weren't decisive enough for a large part of the game; just got good ones when we needed to."
If Warner Pacific is able to make the bus trip from Klamath Falls, the Raiders will host the Knights at 7:30 tonight. The Knights, picked second in the CCC preseason poll, were 69-66 losers Friday at Oregon Tech.
A decision will be made on whether the game will be played by noon. If weather does not permit, a Sunday make-up date is likely.