Raiders romp in own tourney
Janackovic's 28 points lead women, 78-60
ASHLAND -- After a slow start, second-ranked Southern Oregon began pounding the ball into its two post players in earnest.
And 6-foot-1 Nada Janackovic and 6-1 Denise Berry did the rest.
The Raiders spotted Concordia a 5-0 lead two minutes into the game and roared back to subdue the Cavaliers, 78-60, Friday night in the opening round of the Southern Oregon Classic women's basketball tournament at McNeal Pavilion.
The Raiders (7-1) will meet Western Baptist in tonight's championship game at 6.
Western Baptist defeated Holy Names, 61-53, in its opening game.
With five minutes left, Janackovic was within one point of her single-game career high of 29 points. But with a 65-36 lead, SOU coach Shirley Huyett let her two post players rest.
Janackovic finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds, while Berry added eight points and five rebounds.
I don't care about my scoring record, said Janackovic. I just want to win and see everybody get to play as much as possible.
Huyett said Janackovic played one of her best games of the season.
When an opponent is going to let Nada get the ball, she's going to make things happen, said Huyett. Scoring 28 points and getting 11 rebounds is pretty good.
Huyett said she was aware Janackovic needed two points for a new high.
Nada doesn't care about that, said Huyett. Neither do I. We just care about what's on the scoreboard. The rest of it doesn't mean anything.
Janackovic was able to post up 6-2 Concordia center Renee Kesting during much of the game.
She didn't try to play in front of me, said Janackovic. So, I was able to get the ball pretty easy. Since she didn't come around in front, I just turned and shot over her most of the night.
All 11 of Southern Oregon's players scored.
The Raiders rolled to a 38-19 halftime lead on the strength of a 28-10 run over the final 13 minutes of the first half. Janackovic scored 21 of those points on an assortment of inside spin moves, layups, one 3-point field goal from the top of the key and six free throws in six attempts.
It's not going to be this easy against Western Baptist in the championship game, but it was fun, said Janackovic. We still have a lot of things to work on.
Janackovic says the Raiders like being rated No. 2 in the nation.
We deserve it, she said. We're pretty tough inside, and we have good players and good shooters outside.
Huyett liked how the Raiders played for much of the night. But she didn't like the team's slow start, and she didn't like the finish, when Concordia cut its deficit to 18 points against primarily SOU reserves.
We were a little excited at first because it was our first home game, said Huyett. At the end, a lot of fouls were being called and we played a lot of kids.
Our pressure defense was good, and we were pushing the tempo, said Huyett. And I thought we did a good job on our inside game.
We only gave them one 3-pointer, and that was at the very start of the game, said Huyett. We did a good job of getting out on their shooters.
Melissa England came off SOU's bench to score nine points and wing Stevi Spaulding had eight, including two 3-pointers.
I thought Tiwana (Merritt) did a good job, other than her shooting, said Huyett. She had seven assists and two steals. A lot of our other people also stepped up and made good contributions.
Peterson 3-10 6-6 12, McDonald 3-8 1-1 8, Haynes 3-11 4-4 10, Hopkins 6-11 0-2 12, Kesting 5-10 1-3 11, Benson 2-6 3-7 7, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Weaver 0-0 0-2 0, Muhammad 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 22-59 15-25 60.
NO. 2 SOUTHERN OREGON (7-1)
Merritt 1-8 0-0 2, Janackovic 9-21 9-10 28, Berry 4-8 0-0 8, Richards 0-1 2-2 2, Taylor 1-5 2-2 5, Fisher 3-8 0-0 6, Garner 1-1 0-0 2, Spaulding 3-5 0-0 8, Mohan 2-5 1-1 6, England 3-5 3-4 9, Curran 1-5 0-0 2. Totals: 28-72 17-19 78.
Halftime--S. Oregon 38, Concordia 19. 3-point goals--Concordia 5-16 (Peterson 0-2, McDonald 1-3, Haynes 0-1), S. Oregon 5-16 (Merritt 0-1, Janackovic 1-1, Richards 0-1, Taylor 1-2, Spaulding 2-4, Mohan 1-3, Curran 0-4). Fouled out--none. Rebounds--Concordia 42 (Hopkins 11), S. Oregon 46 (Janackovic 11). Assists--Concordia 12 (Peterson, Haynes 4), S. Oregon 24 (Merritt 7). Total fouls--Concordia 18, S. Oregon 18. Attendance--500.