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SOU overcomes shooting woes, William Jessup in 62-56 win

KLAMATH FALLS — The Southern Oregon men’s basketball team was unable to get much going offensively besides Eric Thompson on Friday against William Jessup, but that was enough for a 62-56 win on the first day of Oregon Tech’s Midland Empire Classic.

Thompson shot 11-for-16 from the floor and 3-for-4 from 3-point range, racking up 31 points and 10 rebounds to help the 17th-ranked Raiders improve to 5-1. As a team they shot a season-worst 38 percent, finding themselves in a 56-53 hole when Desmond Floyd hit a jumper for William Jessup (7-1) with 2:43 left.

A Thompson free throw cut into the lead, and his straight-on triple gave it back to SOU with 1:41 remaining. Trailing 57-56, WJU missed a jumper and failed to cover Ben DeSaulnier in transition. His wide-open layup extended the lead, and his free throws later wrapped up the win.

The Warriors — who this season had already defeated the Cascade Conference likes of Northwest Christian and Oregon Tech — experienced similar shooting woes, settling at 35 percent from the floor (24-for-68), 12 percent from 3-point range (2-for-17) and 40 percent (6-for-15) from the line.

They, however, did not have Thompson, who has now gone over 30 points 10 times in his career and over 25 points five times this season.

SOU point guard Joel Spear helped with eight points, six rebounds and a couple assists. Tim Weber had 10 rebounds and four assists, and Jordan West chipped in eight points and four rebounds.

SOU plays in Klamath Falls at 3 p.m. today against California Merced.