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Tedder's hot hand lifts SOU men to victory

Having already endured a miserable 0-for-4 first half, Kyle Tedder had just clanked a pull-up 3-pointer to spoil a fastbreak when Southern Oregon head coach Brian McDermott pulled aside the junior guard during a timeout.

McDermott wanted to remind Tedder that he's more than a 3-point shooter.

"He's too good at the other parts of the game to let that go," McDermott said. "When he starts making a few other shots, gets a couple steals and is able to get out on fastbreaks, it changes the whole game for him."

It can change the whole game for SOU, too.

Tedder scored 33 points — all in the second half — as No. 18 Southern Oregon shot 61 percent from the floor to defeat Concordia 100-88 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament quarterfinals Wednesday at Bob Riehm Arena.

The win advances the Raiders (23-8), winners of seven in a row, to the CCC semifinals, where they will face No. 4 Eastern Oregon on Saturday in La Grande. No. 12 Warner Pacific will host No. 25 Northwest in the other semifinal.

The victory ends a five-game skid in conference tournament games for SOU and all but guarantees the Raiders an at-large bid in the NAIA Division II national tournament.

"It takes a tremendous pressure off," McDermott said. "I don't have the knot in my stomach that I've had all day."

After missing all four of his shot attempts in the first half, Tedder went 9-for-12 in the second half, including 5-for-7 from beyond the 3-point line, to tie his career-high mark with 33 points. David Sturner and Jeff Bush both connected on all three of their attempts from long-range as Sturner tallied 21 points and nine rebounds and Bush finished with 11 points and six assists.

Eric Thompson added 15 points and Tim Weber totaled 10 in the win.

Anthony Holton went 11-for-18 from the field to lead Concordia with 23 points, while Willy Ligon tallied 20. Adam Herman posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Robbie Jackson finished with 11 points and Justyn Searle totaled 10.

Southern Oregon shot 53 percent in the first half (18 of 34) before catching fire in the second half to the tune of 72.7 percent shooting (16 of 22). The Raiders connected on 54 percent of their 3-point attempts (14 of 26), including streaks of five consecutive makes in both periods.

Concordia shot 49 percent (37 of 76) for the game and attempted 20 more shots than Southern Oregon, but the Cavaliers connected on only 21 percent of their 3-pointers (4 of 19) and attempted 14 fewer free throws in the game.

A back-and-forth first half featured 11 lead changes and three ties. Ligon got the game going with a jumper in the first 11 seconds before Thompson handed SOU its first lead with a 3-pointer 34 seconds later. Midway through the half Concordia used an 11-point streak to take its largest lead of the game, as a Herman layup put the Cavs up 32-22 with 7:37 to play in the half.

"We thought we were playing pretty well and we got a little stagnant offensively," McDermott said. "And, they were making tough shots and we didn't feel like they could continue to make those kind of shots."

Sturner ended the run with a 3-pointer on SOU's next possession, and the Raiders hit their next five 3-point attempts as an 18-4 run wiped away CU's lead and put the hosts up 40-36. Another Sturner 3 a few minutes later pushed SOU up by five, and a trey by Bush in the final seconds of the period gave the Raiders a 50-44 halftime advantage.

Southern Oregon scored the first four points of the second half to claim a double-digit lead for the first time of the night, and the Raiders climbed up 13 when a pair of Tedder free throws made it 68-55 with 13:16 remaining. A minute later a Jesse Armstrong 3-pointer sparked a 12-2 CU run that pulled the Cavs back to within three at 72-69.

Tedder answered with a layup to start a 13-4 Raider run that featured a 3-pointer by Bush and two more by Tedder, stretching the SOU advantage back to 12 with less than six minutes to go. From that point, CU pulled within six a couple of times, but each time the Raiders answered.

Concordia's final push came when a Holton jumper made it 89-83 with 3:08 to play, but Tedder dropped back-to-back 3's to double the lead and essentially put the game away.

Tedder scored the Raiders' final 13 points of the game as the only SOU player to score in the last four minutes of the contest.

"He gets that way," McDermott said of Tedder, who's shooting 44 percent from 3-point range. "He's kind of been that way all year, really."

Now, the Raiders must beat Eastern Oregon for the second time this season in order to keep their CCC tournament championship hopes alive. In the last meeting between the two teams, the Mountaineers beat the Raiders 75-61 on Jan. 19 in La Grande. The Raiders have lost only one game since.

"They're a very good offensive team and a really good rebounding team," McDermott said of EOU. "That'll be our challenge, to keep them off the glass and limit their possessions."

Southern Oregon University's David Sturner scores a basket over Concordia's Kory Kirwan in the first half Wednesday at Bob Riehm Arena. The 18th-ranked Raiders won to advance to the semifinals of the Cascade Conference tournament. They'll travel to La Grande to face fourth-ranked Eastern Oregon on Saturday. - Jamie Lusch