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Rivals Southern Oregon, OIT square off tonight

ASHLAND — The Southern Oregon and Oregon Tech basketballs teams will square off at McNeal Pavilion tonight in Ashland's version of the annual rivalry game.

The SOU and OIT women tip off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30 p.m. The ticket booth will open at 4 p.m. today.

The SOU women (21-4, 13-3 Cascade Conference) have won 10 straight games since a 78-74 setback to the Owls back on Jan. 6.

This past weekend, the 21st-ranked Raiders clinched both a Cascade Conference playoff berth and a first-round home playoff game. SOU is now a game back of second-place College of Idaho and two games behind first-place Concordia.

Senior guard Rhiannon Dickison leads the Raiders during the current run with a 15.7 points-per-game average. Junior post Jacki Speer is averaging 15.2 points and 12.9 rebounds during the same stretch.

Oregon Tech (13-12, 6-10) has won three of nine since defeating the Raiders and are in a four-team battle for the last three playoff spots.

The SOU men (8-17, 6-10) are also in a battle for a playoff spot. The Raiders are tied with Northwest for the final two playoff spots and are just a game ahead of ninth-place Corban.

Third-ranked Oregon Tech (22-4, 12-4) has already wrapped up a playoff berth and now is in a battle for a conference title. OIT and Eastern Oregon are tied for first place in the conference, while Warner Pacific and Evergreen are a game back and College of Idaho is two games back.

Following tonight's games, the Raiders host Northwest Christian on Friday in the annual Senior Night games.