LA GRANDE — The Cascade Conference women's basketball landscape was shaken up Friday night.
Eastern Oregon, ranked 17th, forced a tie for first place with No. 5 Southern Oregon, scoring a 74-61 upset with a dominant second half in which the Raiders were held to 11-of-32 shooting. They've now dropped eight straight regular-season games on EOU's home court.
SOU (22-3 overall) and EOU (22-4) have matching 15-2 CCC records. If SOU and EOU win out their last three games — because their only losses are on each other's home courts and at Oregon Tech — the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed in the CCC tournament and an automatic bid to the national tournament would come down to a coin flip.
The Mounties kept themselves in contention by erasing a 39-36 halftime deficit and taking a five-point lead into the fourth quarter, shooting 10-of-16 with three 3-pointers in the third. Maya Ah You (19 points, six rebounds) and led the way, and the EOU bench scored 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting.
For the Raiders, Sydney Mullings had 18 points and five rebounds, Tiani Bradford had 13 and six, and Casey Williams scored 11. However, EOU bogged down star forward Autumn Durand, whose five points on 2-of-10 shooting was her lowest output in 32 games.
EASTERN OREGON 94, SOU 83: At La Grande, Eastern Oregon forward Bryan McGriff put on a show in the first half and totaled 31 points to help the 16th-ranked Mountaineers pull away.
McGriff — the Cascade Conference's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder — finished 11-of-16, but went 9-for-11 and made all four of his deep 3-point tries before halftime to put EOU (20-6 overall, 13-4 CCC) up 62-43.
The Mountaineers moved into a second-place tie with Oregon Tech. The Raiders (17-10, 11-6) visit 25th-ranked C of I in a 7:30 Mountain Time tipoff Saturday.
Ben DeSaulnier scored 21 points and pulled down six rebounds for SOU, and his 3-pointer with 11 minutes left trimmed EOU's lead to 76-67. It was a 10-point game a minute later following a Raider miss and Max McCullough's 3-pointer for EOU.
For the Raiders, Jordan Hunt had 14 points and six rebounds, Tristen Holmes 13 points and six assists and Jason Simmrin 10 points off the bench on 4-of-5 shooting. SOU dropped into fifth place.
SOU ALL-AMERICANS: At Oklahoma City, three Southern Oregon wrestlers will come home All-Americans from the Women's College Wrestling Association Championships thanks to a strong opening day that put the Raiders in 10th place Friday.
Kal Holliday (123 pounds), Alejandra Rodriguez (130) and Desiree Zavala (143) each assured themselves top-eight finishes. Zavala, a freshman from Grandview, Washington, was the only Raider to reach the semifinal round before getting bumped to the consolation bracket and can finish no worse than fifth. All three can still place as high as third.
Nine of SOU's 12 competitors contributed to their point total of 59, however. Anesia Ramirez (123), Gladdys Palma (136), Jasmine Ivey (143) and Nicole Diaz (170) all came up just one win short of spots in placing rounds and clinching All-America status.
Holliday will become the first two-time All-American in team history after placing sixth last year.
The Raiders, who came into the tournament ranked 12th, finished 11th with two All-Americans last season.
SOU 4, WILLIAM JESSUP 0: At Redding, Calif., Gabby Sandoval threw a three-hit gem in her second collegiate start.
Sandoval, a freshman right-hander, struck out four and walked one. She retired 13 Warriors in a row after surrendering back-to-back singles in the first inning, and her shutout was complete when Natalie Basaldua to line into a double play in the seventh.
Through two starts (both wins), Sandoval has allowed one earned run in 14 innings, helping SOU to a 3-1 start.
The Raider lineup provided a lead before she ever entered the circle. Kelsey Randall, Kayleen Smith, Harlee Donovan and Karlee Coughlin started the game with consecutive singles. Coughlin's drove in Randall, and Smith scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Rebecca Velasquez.
Smith and Donovan were the only Raiders with multiple hits, and Randall also reached twice.
Track and Field
RAIDERS QUALIFY: At Seattle, the Southern Oregon men's and women's distance medley relay teams locked down automatic NAIA Indoor Championship qualifying times at the Husky Classic.
The Raider women needed a time of 12:33 and came up with 12:21.58 to place 11th. Natalie Berania ran the 1,200-meter portion, Loghan Sprauer the 400, Kayle Blackmore the 800 and Jessa Perkinson the mile for SOU, which settled into the No. 4 spot on the NAIA list.
Aidan Paulk (1,200), Cedric Quartey (400), Gary Fanelli (800) and Ryan Alexander (mile) clocked in at 10:20.38 for the Raider men, who needed 10:24 for an 'A' time. SOU placed fifth and is ninth on the NAIA list.