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Fiegi scores 23 as OIT advances

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — Ryan Fiegi scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds Saturday to lead 11th-seeded Oregon Tech to an 81-70 victory over Grace College (Ind.) and a spot in the semifinals of the NAIA Division II men's basketball championships.

The Hustlin' Owls (29-6) will face second-seeded MidAmerican Nazarene (Kan.) Monday at 6 p.m. PDT for the right to play in Tuesday's championship game. Top-seeded Bellevue (Neb.) will take on fifth-seeded Northwestern (Iowa) in Monday's other semifinal.

It is the fourth appearance in the final four for the Hustlin' Owls, who last appeared in the semifinals in 2005. OIT also reached the semis in 1998 and 2004. Tech won the national title in 2004.

The 6-foot-7 Fiegi, a South Medford High product, continued his impressive performance in the national tournament. Despite suffering a partially torn kneecap in the first round Thursday, Fiegi has averaged more than 20 points per game in Tech's three wins. Against Grace, he hit 9 of 14 field goal attempts.

Josh Wetzler also turned in a solid performance, totaling 14 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Former South Medford player Myles Daley hit 4 of 5 field goal attempts and finished with 10 points.

OIT shot 53 percent from the field and held Grace to just 19 percent shooting (5 of 26) from 3-point range.

The two teams waged a close battle in the first half marked by seven lead changes. But Tech shot a blistering 61 percent from the field in the second half to pull away, opening up an 11-point lead midway through the period.

Grace (26-10) was led by Kyle Johnson, who finished with 16 points.