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NCU putback beats buzzer, sinks SOU

EUGENE — Northwest Christian burned the Southern Oregon men’s basketball team late again Friday night, as Jack Hackman’s buzzer-beating putback gave the Beacons a 66-64 win in Cascade Conference play at the Morse Event Center.

The 16th-ranked Raiders (13-3 overall, 3-2 CCC) fell behind 64-62 when Michael Loomis sank a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left. Following a timeout, SOU’s Tim Weber maneuvered inside for a game-tying layup, but Travis Pacos’ runner on the other end bounced five feet from the hoop into the hands of Hackman, who banked it off the glass as time expired.

NCU, which came through in the clutch three times during the 2013-14 season to defeat SOU, improved to 10-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play.

The Raiders were led by Weber’s 14 points, 11 assists and three blocks, while Jordan West scored 16 points and Eric Thompson added 13 points with five rebounds.

They maintained a slim lead throughout the second half (which never exceeded six points) until West lost the ball and Javonte Byrd cashed in with a transition layup for a 60-59 NCU edge with 1:32 to play.

The Raiders’ Ben DeSaulnier — who scored 10 of his 12 points off the bench in the second half — then traded free throws with NCU’s Austin Kuemper, and SOU went up 62-61 when Weber found a cutting West at the basket with 44 seconds left before Loomis hit the trey.

Kuemper carried the Beacons offensively with 18 of his game-high 25 points in the second half.

Women’s Basketball

NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN 95, SOU 92: At Eugene, 15th-ranked Southern Oregon hit a road bump at the Morse Events Center.

A Sammi Pitts 3-pointer gave NCU (5-7 overall, 3-2 CCC) a 92-90 lead with 52 seconds remaining. SOU’s Alexi Smith tied it with a layup on the other end, but NCU’s Chandler Gabrio drew a foul with 20 seconds left and made one of two free throws to put the Beacons up for good.

The Raiders’ Autumn Durand’s potential go-ahead jumper rimmed out with nine seconds left, and Pitts and Hannah Frederick made free throws inside the final four seconds to seal NCU’s win.

SOU, which had won four straight against the Beacons, fell to 12-2 overall and 3-2 in the CCC.

Smith scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Raiders, who shot 52 percent (35-for-67) as a team. Courtney West came off the bench to match a career high with 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting, scoring 14 of those to help the Raiders take a 52-46 advantage into halftime.