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Raider men end long losing skein

David Preszler

ASHLAND -- The Southern Oregon men's basketball team put an end to one streak of disappointment Saturday, but coach Brian McDermott was more concerned with stopping another.

The Raiders halted a 17-game Cascade Conference losing streak with a 88-75 victory over Western Oregon that has McDermott optimistic that his team can make the conference playoffs for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

We're more concerned with this year, McDermott said in downplaying the significance of SOU's first conference win since Feb. 10, 1996. If you want to compete in the league, you've got to get that first win and we finally got it.

Freshman Tom Chipps, who had just four points in Friday night's loss to Western Baptist, rebounded by scoring a game-high 24 points. He hit 9-of-12 shots, including 3-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arch.

He had a tough night last night, so it was kind of nice to see him come back, said McDermott.

As a team, the Raiders turned in one of their better offensive performances.

We were much better offensively than we have been, McDermott said. We shot the ball pretty well tonight and got a lot of good looks. We shot 58 percent and that's probably not going to happen a lot.

Southern Oregon was up 38-34 at the half and didn't trail after that, although Western Oregon made several runs. The Raiders led by 11 points with 10 minutes to go before watching the Wolves (5-10, 0-2) close the gap to three points at the six-minute mark.

Then center Scott Logue, a former Grants Pass High standout, scored inside to spark a 7-0 run that reasserted the Raiders' hold on the game.

Southern Oregon (6-9, 1-1) also got a big second half from point guard Jacques Francis, who scored all 16 of his points after the break. Francis hit all six of his shots from the field and all four free-throw attempts. He also had five assists and four steals with only one turnover.

He totally got after their point guards, said McDermott. Their point guards had eight turnovers. He totally took them out of their game.

The Raiders look to go above the .500 mark in conference play Friday when they travel to Nampa, Idaho, to take on Northwest Nazarene.

As for the conference losing streak, McDermott says he didn't even bring it up with his team.

This is an entirely different team, he said. Eight of our top 10 players are new so that part of it is not a big deal.

WESTERN OREGON (5-10, 0-2)

Hymas 3-8 4-4 12, Brown 6-9 3-6 16, Drennan 3-8 1-2 7, Hoffman 2-7 1-1 7, Flaherty 1-4 0-1 2, Cropper 3-5 1-4 8, Gonzales 1-2 0-0 2, Rothenberger 2-5 4-4 10, Moehring 2-3 1-1 5, Struve 2-2 0-0 6. Totals: 25-53 15-23 75.

SOUTHERN OREGON (6-9, 1-1)

Lacy 4-8 1-2 9, Baker 2-8 5-7 10, Francis 6-6 4-4 16, Chipps 9-12 3-4 24, Valley 4-7 1-2 9, Haynes 0-1 0-0 0, Arbow 2-3 0-0 4, Guy 0-2 4-4 4, Carroll 0-1 0-0 0, Schmerbach 3-3 1-2 7, Logue 2-4 1-1 5. Totals: 32-55 20-26 88.

Halftime score -- Southern Oregon 38, Western Oregon 34. 3-point goals -- Southern Oregon 4-11 (Baker 1-4, Chipps 3-5, Arbow 0-1, Carroll 0-1), Western Oregon 10-23 (Hymas 2-3, Brown 1-2, Drennan 0-3, Hoffman 2-7, Cropper 1-2, Gonzales 0-1, Rothenberger 2-3, Struve 2-2). Fouled out -- Brown, Flaherty. Rebounds -- Southern Oregon 35 (Chipps 8), Western Oregon 26 (Brown 12). Assists -- Southern Oregon 16 (Francis 5), Western Oregon 19 (Drennan 4, Flaherty 4). Total fouls -- Southern Oregon 21, Western Oregon 21. .