Raiders roll into National Duals semifinals
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Four of the top-five wrestling teams in the NAIA will battle today for the NWCA National Duals title after the first two rounds played out as expected Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
Second-ranked Southern Oregon University took care of business in the first round against Cumberland (Tenn.) with a 40-9 win, then was almost as dominant in a 32-9 win over Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) in the quarterfinals.
The Raiders, now 7-1 in dual meets this season, have an 8 a.m. PST date with fourth-ranked Campbellsville (Ky.) in the semifinals. Campbellsville advanced by defeating Bethany (Kan.), 26-18, and Midland (Neb.), 25-22.
Top-ranked Grand View (Iowa) and fifth-ranked Great Falls (Mont.) will meet in the other semifinal. Grand View is the three-time defending champ, and SOU is seeking its first National Duals title since 2009.
The Raiders grabbed a quick 16-0 lead against Cumberland as 125-pounder Casey Coulter won by forfeit, 133-pounder Devin Poppen pinned Robbie Resendiz in 37 seconds and Trevor Hancock scored a 12-4 major decision over Austin Meyn at 141.
After a loss at 149, 157-pounder Dalton Urrutia got the Raiders back on track with another pin. Brock Crocker and Reed Tennyson followed with tight decisions at 165 and 174, respectively, and Ryan McWatters and Clayton Burtis rounded out the lineup with pins.
McWatters wrapped up his fall with 11 seconds to spare in the 197-pound match, and Burtis ended the heavyweight bout in 59 seconds.
Poppen, 174-pounder Brock Gutches and 197-pounder Taylor Johnson notched wins by fall in the win over Embry-Riddle. Between the three of them, they are now 18-2 with nine pins and four other bonus-point wins in dual action.
Dalton Urrutia and Burtis added major decisions for the Raiders, while Tyler Cowger and Garrett Urrutia both won by decision.
SOU 105, EVERGREEN 72: At Ashland, No. 11 Southern Oregon shot 72.5 percent from the field, the best mark of any team in coach Brian McDermott’s 19 years, in the rout.
Led by Eric Thompson’s 25 points and 10 rebounds, the Raiders (15-3 overall, 5-2 Cascade Conference) kept the Geoducks (3-10, 0-6) in a daze for 40 minutes. SOU was 37-for-51 from the field, including 13-for-21 on 3-pointers.
SOU was off the mark on just three of its 23 attempts in the first half, going 12-for-12 from inside the 3-point line.
The Raiders are tied for first place and one of five teams in the conference with two losses.
Thompson went 9-for-11 from the field and 4-for-6 from downtown. He was joined by four other Raiders in double figures: Jacob Kaler (17), Ben DeSaulnier (14), Kenny Meyer (10) and Jordan West (10).
The Raider bench drilled eight of 12 attempts from outside as DeSaulnier, Meyer and Justin Martin hit two apiece. DeSaulnier added five assists and three boards, Meyer had three assists and West tallied four rebounds and three assists.
Thirty-two of SOU’s 37 makes were assisted, led by Tim Weber’s 10.
SOU 77, EVERGREEN 56: At Ashland, Kristen Schoenherr scored 10 of her 15 points in the first half and the 16th-ranked Southern Oregon women's basketball team protected its lead in the second to defeat Evergreen State.
The Raiders (14-2 overall, 5-2 Cascade Conference) held Evergreen (8-5, 2-4) to 36-percent shooting, including a 9-for-33 showing in the second half.
SOU's three posts all had their way: Courtney West (12 points, 10 rebounds), Carly Mesiter (12 points, nine rebounds) and Alexi Smith (nine points, three rebounds).
Ashley Claussen, Autumn Durand and Tiani Bradford combined for 23 points and 16 assists.