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SOU men, women hoping for big weekend

The Southern Oregon men's basketball team will look to clinch a home game in the first round of next week's Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament when the Raiders close out the regular season this weekend with road games against Corban on Friday and Northwest Christian on Saturday.

Southern Oregon (16-11, 9-7 CCC) is tied with Eastern Oregon for the fourth and final hosting spot in the tournament. Depending on how the weekend plays out around the conference either team could pick up the tie-breaker advantage, meaning both teams will be paying close attention to each other's scores on Friday and Saturday.

"It's a big weekend, which goes without saying," SOU head coach Brian McDermott said. "There are tons of playoff implications, and we are far from being able to figure out who's going to play where."

Corban (16-12) enters the final weekend of the regular season ranked sixth in the conference standings with an 8-8 record.

SOU's Eric Thompson is averaging 18.3 points per game in conference play to rank second in the league, and he ranks fifth in the league in rebounding (7.6) right behind teammate Terriel Thomas (7.8). Jordan Highland ranks ninth in the conference with a 56.1 shooting percentage and is averaging 12.8 points per game.

SOU ON ROAD — The Southern Oregon women's basketball team will close out the 2011-12 regular season this weekend when the Raiders travel to Salem for a Friday matchup with No. 10 Corban before taking on Northwest Christian in Eugene for Saturday's regular-season finale.

Southern Oregon (14-13, 5-11 Cascade Collegiate Conference) looks to lock up a spot in the postseason conference tournament. The Raiders currently sit in seventh place in the league standings, with the top eight teams set to advance to next week's tournament. They are 11/2 games behind Northwest (7-10) for the sixth spot and one game ahead of Concordia (4-12) for the final playoff spot.

Friday's game will be a tough test for the Raiders, as Corban (19-6) enters the weekend ranked 10th in the latest NAIA poll and tied for first in the conference standings with a 13-3 record.

SOU's Haley Newell leads the team in scoring with an average of 11.4 points per game.

NAIA WEST REGION QUALIFYING — At Ashland, the third-ranked Southern Oregon wrestling team will host the NAIA West Region Qualifying Tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bob Riehm Arena.

Southern Oregon, 11-3 in duals this season, will host five other teams as the Raiders look to qualify a couple more wrestlers for the national championships in Des Moines, Iowa, next month. Of the Raiders' 12 wrestlers set to participate this weekend, 10 have already qualified for the national championships.

The NAIA West Region Qualifying Tournament will feature six teams, including four ranked teams and three ranked in the NAIA top eight. Southern Oregon leads the way at No. 3, followed by No. 4 Great Falls, No. 8 Montana State-Northern and No. 20 Embry-Riddle. Menlo and Wayland Baptist will also participate, with 27 individual ranked wrestlers among the six programs.