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SOU men win fourth straight

ASHLAND ' The Southern Oregon University men's basketball team improved to 4-0 in 2004 and won its fifth straight Cascade Conference game by downing Cascade College 79-55 at McNeal Pavilion on Sunday.

The win allowed the Raiders (10-10, 5-1) to remain in sole possession of second-place in the tight league title chase entering Tuesday night's key home showdown with archrival Oregon Tech.

Southern, which never trailed the Thunderbirds (5-12, 1-4), pulled away from a 28-all deadlock by scoring a season-best 53 points in the second half.

Sophomores Nick Borrevik and Peter Nelson led the balanced SOU attack with 13 points each, while Shea Washington added 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

The Raiders led 26-24 at the half, shot 51-percent from the field (30 of 59), outrebounded CC 42-37 and limited the Portland school to a chilly 21-of-58 shooting clip (36 percent).

— The T-Birds, who dropped their third straight, received 16-point performances from Matt Cokley and Jon Rylaarsdam. Sophomore forward Jared Alsup, who entered the contest No. 2 in the 10-team league with a 20-point scoring average, tallied 10 points and nine rebounds.

Women's Basketball

SOUTHERN OREGON 62, CASCADE 60 ' At Ashland, Southern Oregon survived its horrid free-throw shooting in a victory over winless Cascade College.

The Raiders (5-8, 4-2) built a 57-45 second-half edge with 5:03 left but converted only 10 of 30 free throw attempts for the game and missed four tries in the closing seconds. But SOU emerged with its 23rd consecutive home win over a league foe when T-Bird point guard Hennisha Dizer's off-balanced, 35-foot 3-point heave missed wide left at the buzzer.

The defending league champion Raiders, who were without four players and two starters who chose not to play on a Sunday, received a game-high 17 points from senior guard Lindsey Hilaire and 13 from junior forward Robyn Ward, who canned six of eight shots.

Freshman guard Jenna Ayers had a career-best 10 points and five steals, grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists for the Raiders, who embark on a five-game road trip starting Tuesday at 22nd-ranked Oregon Tech.