ASHLAND — It took about 24 minutes for the Southern Oregon University men's basketball team to get in gear Saturday, but that left plenty of time to pin a 75-59 win on Evergreen State at Bob Riehm Arena.
The 18th-ranked Raiders (21-6, 10-5 Cascade Conference) were down 44-35 after Kyle Calhoun scored for Evergreen (3-18, 2-12) with 15:43 remaining in the game. What followed was a 20-0 run during which they made 9 of 12 shots. By the 10-minute mark, their lead was at 10.
Tim Weber and Jeff Bush were the catalysts, with Bush making four straight shots en route to 14 points and six assists. Weber helped run the show and finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
The pair combined to shoot 12-for-15, salvaging a 50-percent (28-for-56) performance from the field for the Raiders on a night when they made just 12 of their first 32 attempts.
Jordan West started and finished the run with layups and added a dagger 3-pointer to give SOU its largest lead, 68-52, with 3:31 left. He had 11 points. Eric Thompson fought through a rough outing from the floor (5-for-16) to tally 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Calhoun scored 20, going 7-for-12 from the field and 4-for-8 on 3s.
Evergreen's largest lead was 33-21 in the first half, but a Weber 3-pointer cut it to 35-29 by halftime.
Southern Oregon, sitting in second place, will play its last three regular season games on the road, starting with rival Oregon Tech next Saturday.
SOU 73, EVERGREEN STATE 62 — At Ashland, Southern Oregon's Carly Meister had 20 points and 16 rebounds and Ashley Claussen added 11 points, seven assists and six boards in the key victory.
The fourth straight win by the Raiders (21-6, 10-5 Cascade Conference) set up a pivotal matchup next Saturday at rival Oregon Tech. The two are tied for second place in the CCC.
Evergreen State (11-10, 7-7) had won five of six conference games on the road. They were hampered by 32.9-percent shooting (23-for-70).
SOU had 24 turnovers, but still led 40-29 despite 15 in the first half thanks to 17-for-29 shooting. A 50-32 edge inside helped, as Meister went 9-for-13, Brenna Anderson went 4-for-6 with nine points and seven boards and Kiara Moore cleaned up with nine rebounds off the bench.
Allison Gida added 11 points and three rebounds. Kristen Schoenherr was 8-for-15 with 16 points and six boards despite 11 turnovers.
Evergreen turned it over just nine times.
The Raiders never trailed, going on a 17-4 run in the first eight minutes while the Geoducks endured a seven-minute drought without a field goal.
The Geoducks cut SOU's lead to 55-48 with 8:34 left before Meister's layup started a 15-5 run.
Meister, a 6-foot-2 post, matched her career high in rebounds — pulling down six on the offensive end — and notched her ninth double-double of the season.