SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Southern Oregon went on a 12-1 run in the fourth quarter to come from behind and complete a perfect pre-Cascade Conference slate with a 78-70 defeat of The Master's (Calif.) on Saturday afternoon.
The Mustangs (6-2) — ranked 18th at the NAIA Division I level — had a 58-55 lead on the No. 15 Raiders (7-0) before the game swung for good. The Raiders got Daranda Hinkey and Toria Bradford jumpers and a Sdy'Nee Fryer 3-pointer on successive possessions to start the run, and Remi Mejia scored five straight of her team-high 24 points to finish it.
Mejia added five rebounds, a pair of steals and hit four 3-pointers. The senior guard went 10-of-20 from long range in the two-day Master's Classic and has scored 20-plus in three straight games.
She was joined in double figures by Ariel Augustine (13 points, 7 rebounds), Bradford (13 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds) and Hinkey (10 points, 4 assists).
The Master's post Anika Neuman kept the Mustangs in it with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting and eight rebounds. They faced their largest deficit at 48-36 in the third before ticking off an 18-5 run, getting eight points and a pair of triples from Brooke Bailey in the quarter.
The Mustangs finished with 24 turnovers to SOU's 15.
The Raiders start CCC play at Mountain Avenue Gym next Saturday against No. 7 Eastern Oregon, the conference's preseason favorite, and will turn around to play The College of Idaho on Sunday. Both games start at 4 p.m.
WESTMONT 76, SOUTHERN OREGON 74: At Atherton, Calif., Southern Oregon let a last-second opportunity go to waste for the second day in a row at the Bud Presley Classic, dropping a contest to Westmont (Calif.).
Down two points, SOU's Aaron Borich drove the length of the floor and was fouled at the basket with 1.6 seconds left. His first free throw missed, and his second (intentional) miss was rebounded by Jordan Hunt under the basket, but Hunt missed a clear look for the tie while falling towards the baseline as time expired.
The Warriors — ranked 25th at the NAIA Division I level — improved to 8-0, having defeated Northwest Christian by 22 points on the first day of the Classic.
Conor Carroll led the Raiders (5-3) with 16 points, and thanks in part to his three first-half 3-pointers they staked to a 36-29 edge at the break.
Borich's 3-pointer put them up 67-64 with four minutes left before Westmont ran off seven unanswered points, a spurt punctuated by Gerald Karczewski's fifth 3 of the day that bounced around and in. Westmont's lead was 75-69 with 52 seconds to go, but Kenny Meyer's bucket-and-one and Borich's runner in the lane with 10 seconds left gave SOU a chance.
Raider point guard Tristen Holmes tallied 10 points and 10 assists for his third career double-double and Borich went 5-of-7 with 12 points and six rebounds off the bench. Ben DeSaulnier added 12 points and Hunt had 10, and both pulled down five rebounds.
Karczewski's 19 points led five Warriors in double figures.
SOU opens Cascade Conference play with a pair of 6 p.m. tipoffs next weekend, Saturday against Eastern Oregon and Sunday against No. 7 The College of Idaho.