ASHLAND — In a game that featured the second- and third-highest scoring offenses in the Cascade Conference, it was the defense that was the difference Friday night at McNeal Pavilion.

ASHLAND — In a game that featured the second- and third-highest scoring offenses in the Cascade Conference, it was the defense that was the difference Friday night at McNeal Pavilion.

Southern Oregon stepped up its play on the defensive end and hit key free throws in overtime to close out Northwest University for a 68-64 conference win in women's basketball.

"Our defense won the game for us tonight," said SOU coach Lynn Kennedy. "We switched really well tonight in our zone, and we have just been getting better."

The Raiders (16-4, 8-3 CCC) trailed for most of the first half but held a slim 20-19 halftime lead behind 10 of Whitney Scott's game-high 22 points.

Northwest used tough man-to-man defense to hold the Raiders to 29 percent (7-for-24) shooting in the first half and forced 10 Raider turnovers.

"They had a great defense tonight," said Scott. "They got in our face, but we handled it well."

Rhiannon Dickison settled into her shot in the second half, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Raiders up 37-32 with just over 13 minutes to play. Dickison went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in the second half and finished with 15 points.

"They doubled more on the post in the second half, so we got open shots," said Dickison.

The Eagles (6-14, 4-7) fought back and tied the game at 57 behind a free throw by Brittany Bowsher with 47 seconds remaining. Neither team could convert in the final seconds as the game went to overtime.

In the extra session, the Raiders wasted little time gaining the lead back when Jacki Speer connected on a turnaround jumper in the paint to put SOU up 59-57.

Speer had been held scoreless in the first half, but picked it up after that to finish with 14 points and 11 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season.

The Eagles cut the Raider lead to one point with just under 30 seconds remaining and then immediately fouled Scott on the next possession. The 5-foot-7 junior, who also doled out five assists, calmly sank both free throws to put the Raiders up 67-64.

Former Crater standout Emily Brookins added 11 points for the Raiders, while Ashley Baker pulled down 12 rebounds.

NORTHWEST (6-14, 4-7 CCC)

McKean 3-7 0-0 6, Mitchell 6-18 3-3 19, Drivstuen 2-7 0-0 4, Breidenbach 0-4 1-3 1, Bowsher 3-9 2-4 9, Hornyak 3-9 0-1 7, Wagner 0-2 0-0 0, Jackson 7-11 2-3 16, Welk 1-1 0-0 2, Newman 0-2 0-0. Totals: 25-70 8-14 64.

SOUTHERN OREGON (16-4, 8-3 CCC)

Scott 7-17 6-8 22, Brookins 3-8 4-5 11, Baker 1-5 1-5 3, Dickison 4-16 4-4 15, Speer 3-8 8-13 14, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Wood 1-3 0-0 3, Scheffler 0-1 0-4 0. Totals: 19-58 23-39 68.

Halftime—Southern Oregon 20-19. 3-point goals—Northwest 6-20 (Mitchell 4-9, Drivstuen 0-3, Breidenbach 0-2, Bowsher 1-2, Hornyak 1-4), Southern Oregon 7-19 (Scott 2-4, Brookins 1-4, Baker 0-1, Dickison 3-7, Wood 1-3). Fouled out—McKean, Hornyak. Rebounds—Northwest 52 (Drivstuen 9, Jackson 9), Southern Oregon 45 (Baker 12). Assists—Northwest 10 (Mitchell 4), Southern Oregon 11 (Scott 5). Totals Fouls—Northwest 31, Southern Oregon 17. A—291.