ASHLAND — Southern Oregon point guard Tristen Holmes scored 18 of his 26 points after halftime and added six assists and five rebounds as 11th-ranked Southern Oregon hung on to defeat No. 16 Oregon Tech, 109-106, on Tuesday night at Mountain Avenue Gym.
The nonconference game marked the first time since 1991 that both SOU (2-1 overall) and OIT (3-3) hit the century mark on the scoreboard against each other on the same night.
The Raiders shot 61 percent from the field, including 13 of 23 from 3-point range, and got 22 points, six assists and three steals from Ben DeSaulnier.
The Owls, headed by Mitchell Fink's 24 points and 10 assists, shot 56 percent.
In the second half, the score changed hands 10 times and was tied eight times.
This was the first time the rivals met as ranked teams since a nonconference game four years ago.
The Raiders reversed their fortunes from last year against OIT, when the Owls captured all four meetings.
Oregon Tech built a five-point lead with less than 10 minutes to play when Tyler Hieb's 3-pointer made it 82-77.
The score was tied three times over the next four minutes until guard DeSaulnier gave Southern Oregon the lead for good with a 3-pointer with 6:03 to play, 92-90.
Two free throws by DeSaulnier, the Cascade Conference player of the week for his efforts last week, made it 94-90, and Conor Carroll's layup put the Raiders in front, 96-90.
Hieb hit a 3-pointer and Jalen Carvalho a layup to pull OIT within 96-95. Carvalho's missed free throw on a three-point play attempt prevented the Owls from tying.
Zach Bernards' two free throws inched Oregon Tech within 98-97 with 2:04 left, but the Raiders pulled away again. They led by as many as six with 49 seconds to play and again with 10 seconds showing.
A 3-pointer by Fink and a layup by Bernards trimmed SOU's advantage to 107-106 with five seconds remaining. DeSaulnier broke free for a layup off a pass from Holmes two seconds later to set the final score.
In the first half, SOU commanded the largest lead of the game by either team, nine points, when it went in front 51-42 on a Kerry Cook 3. The Raiders led 56-51 at halftime.
Oregon Tech's biggest lead in the first half was at 32-25.
Tate Hoffman added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Raiders, and Kenny Meyer had 14 points, six assists and three steals.
The Owls had six players reach double figures in scoring. Hieb added 15 points, Andrew Weber 14 and Bernards 13.
On Friday and Saturday, Southern Oregon plays in the Lithia-Oregon Tech Classic in Klamath Falls. The Raiders face a pair of unbeaten teams in William Jessup (5-0) and Montana State-Northern (3-0). Both games are scheduled for 3 p.m. starts.