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Raiders slips past Warner Pacific

ASHLAND ' The eighth-ranked Southern Oregon University men's basketball team won its 10th consecutive home game and maintained its first-place perch by defeating Cascade Conference rival Warner Pacific College 62-58 Saturday night at McNeal Pavilion.

The Raiders (15-8, 12-3 CC), who can capture the school's first league title since 1999 by winning their final three regular-season contests, led wire-to-wire in the defensive struggle but needed a late 3-pointer from junior center Jeff Williams to put away the stubborn Knights (16-11, 7-7).

Southern made its first five shots to roll to an 11-3 lead, but the Raiders, who held a comfortable 25-18 halftime edge, led just 55-53 until Williams took a kick-out pass from All-American Shea Washington and beat the shot clock buzzer with the trey from the left wing with 53 seconds remaining.

Williams finished with 10 points, but Washington again occupied the stat line limelight by compiling a game-high 23 points on 10-for-13 shooting along with a team-best seven rebounds.

The Knights, who came within one on four occasions with the latest incursion coming at 52-51 with three minutes to go after a Jeff Eischen 3-pointer, received an outstanding 19-point, 14-rebound, six-assist performance from junior forward Donny Woods.

— Senior guard Joe Hoover scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half for WPC, which fell to 0-5 at McNeal Pavilion since reviving its basketball program in 1999.

Brad Coen, who sat out Friday night's Raider romp over Cascade with a foot injury, scored eight, and junior guard Steve Farley had six points and seven assists.

Southern shot 47 percent for the game (23 of 49) and withstood Warner's efficient 15-for-24 second-half onslaught (63 percent) by limiting the Knights to only one offensive rebound over the final 20 minutes.

WARNER PACIFIC (58)

Hoover 5-9 7-9 18, Jackson 3-3 1-1 8, Powers 3-5 1-2 8, Woods 9-19 0-0 19, Eischen 1-7 0-0 3, Walton 1-1 0-0 2, Oury 0-1 0-0 0, Wheeler 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-46 9-12 58.

SOUTHERN OREGON (62)

Farley 2-7 1-2 6, Coen 3-10 0-0 8, Washington 10-13 3-5 23, Williams 3-8 2-2 10, Gabel 1-2 0-1 2, McCallister 1-3 1-2 4, Ward 0-1 2-2 2, Elam 3-5 1-1 7, Cowell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-49 10-15 62.

Halftime' SOU 25-18. 3-point goals'SOU 6-16 (Williams 2-2, Coen 2-9, Farley 1-1, McCallister 1-2, Gabel 0-1, Ward 0-1), WP 5-15 (Jackson 1-1, Powers 1-1, Hoover 1-3, Eischen 1-3, Woods 1-6, Oury 0-1). Rebounds'SOU 28 (Washington 7), WP 28 (Woods 14). Assists'SOU 18 (Farley 7), WP 10 (Woods 6). Total fouls'WP 17, SOU 10. A'950.

WARNER PACIFIC 63, SOUTHERN OREGON 57 ' At Ashland, Warner Pacific handed Southern Oregon University a critical setback in its quest for a Cascade Conference playoff berth.

The ninth-place Knights (7-20, 3-11) dumped the Raiders (4-22, 3-12) into the 10-team league cellar after overcoming a 20-10 first-half deficit and mitigating poor shooting with 19 offensive rebounds.

Junior all-star guard Angie Sun led WPC with 15 points, while sophomore guard Birdie Wermy canned three of her four 3-pointers in the first half, including a buzzer-beater, to stake the Portland school to a 33-29 halftime edge.

The Raiders never regained the lead although they moved within 58-57 after a Kat Cox inside jumper with 1:47 remaining. The Knights, however, snapped a six-game slide against SOU in Ashland dating back to 2000, put the game away with baskets from sophomore forward Crystal Huntley on their next two possessions.

SOU received a game-high 24 points along with seven rebounds from sophomore forward Andi Peterson, and junior guard Chelsey Brock scored nine.

WARNER PACIFIC (7-20, 3-11)

Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Wells 1-9 3-6 5, Frutchey 1-6 3-4 5, Sun 4-11 6-7 15, Stevens 1-6 1-2 3, Walsh 2-6 4-8 8, Anderson 2-7 0-0 0, Dinneen 0-2 0-0 0, Peters 0-1 0-0 0, Wermy 4-11 0-0 12, Huntley 5-7 1-3 11. Totals: 20-66 18-30 63.

SOUTHERN OREGON (4-22, 3-12)

Short 1-4 2-3 4, Brock 3-13 3-4 9, Pritchard 0-2 0-0 0, Peterson 9-15 6-7 24, Beyer 4-6 0-0 8, Bothum 1-3 0-0 3, Terrien 0-1 0-0 0, Sampson 0-0 0-0 0, Hidle 0-0 0-0 0, Meeks 1-2 0-1 2, Cox 3-3 1-1 7. Totals: 22-49 12-16 57.

Halftime'Warner Pacific 33-29. 3-point goals'Warner Pacific 5-29 (Wells 0-6, Frutchey 0-3, Sun 1-5, Walsh 0-2, Anderson 0-3, Dinneen 0-1, Wermy 4-9), S. Oregon 1-5 (Brock 0-2, Pritchard 0-1, Bothum 1-2). Fouled out'Beyer. Rebounds'Warner Pacific 42 (Walsh 8), Southern Oregon 44 (Short 9). Assists'Warner Pacific 13 (Frutchey 4), Southern Oregon 14 (Short 4, Peterson 4). Total fouls'Warner Pacific 14, Southern Oregon 21. Technical fouls'none. A'250.

Wrestling

ALL-CALIFORNIA INVITATIONAL ' At San Francisco, two Southern Oregon wrestlers won weight class titles and another placed third at the All-California Invitational hosted by San Francisco State University.

Junior Jimmy Grochowsky defeated Stanford's Brian Perry 8-7 to win the 165-pound championship ' his first meet title of the season. The NAIA's third-ranked 165 pounder upped his season mark to 19-7 in the process.

Two weight classes later, NAIA top-ranked David O'Brien topped Elliot Kelly of UC Davis, 8-5, for the 184-pound crown. The junior from Kodiak, Alaska went 3-0 on the day, improved to 20-4 overall, staked his third meet title of the year and extended his season win streak to 14.

Junior Josh Fitzgerald went 3-1 to finish third at 174, and junior James Mannenbach missed placing at 174 by a single victory.

Only four Raiders traveled to the event.