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Raiders fend off No. 22 Cal Maritime

ATHERTON, Calif. — The hot-handed Southern Oregon men’s basketball team went 8-for-16 from deep and held off 22nd-ranked Cal Maritime 74-70 on Friday afternoon at Menlo’s Bud Presley Classic.

The 17th-ranked Raiders (8-1), who never trailed in the second half, were led by Eric Thompson’s 21 points, Jordan West’s 15 points and seven rebounds, and Tim Weber’s 12 points and eight assists.

Three days after getting exactly zero points off the bench in a win at Simpson, SOU received a spark in the form of freshman Ben DeSaulnier’s career-high 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting.

Despite shooting 50 percent from the floor (27-for-54), the Keelhaulers trailed by as many as 16 in the second half. Roman Delgado scored 19 points for them, and Harley Ruder added 14.

Leading 44-37 with 15 minutes left, SOU hit four of its next five 3-point attempts — two by Thompson, one by Weber and the last by Kenny Meyer — to take a 58-44 lead that was extended to 16 points by West’s jumper.

The Keelhaulers chipped away with some sharp shooting of their own, cutting it to 69-66 with a Ruder triple at the two-minute mark. Following two West free throws, they made it a three-point game again when Delgado made a jumper with 30 seconds left, but one free throw from Thompson and two from DeSaulnier put the game away.

Thompson went 8-for-12 from the field and made all three of his 3-point attempts. West was 5-for-7, going 2-for-3 from downtown, and Joel Spear chipped in eight points. The Raiders shot 51 percent (26-for-51) as a team, going over 50 for the fifth time this season.

The Raiders have their final tuneup for Cascade Conference play at 4 p.m. today against Menlo.