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SOU falls to Grand View in National Duals

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — If the 2015 NAIA Wrestling Championships play out like this weekend's National Duals did, a fourth straight title won't come as easily for top-ranked Grand View (Iowa) as the last three did.

On Saturday at Memorial Coliseum, the Vikings held on for dear life in a 23-13 title win against second-ranked Southern Oregon. The Duals championship was Grand View's fourth straight.

The Raiders — who advanced in the 16-team gala Friday with a 40-9 win over Cumerbland (Tenn.) in the first round and a 32-9 win over ninth-ranked Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) in the quarterfinals — began Saturday with a 43-3 semifinal thumping of fourth-ranked Campbellsville (Ky.).

SOU was spotted 12 points due to two Campbellsville forfeits but ultimately didn't need them. Devin Poppen, a freshman 133-pounder, stayed hot with a second-round pin of Ryu Ballard to set the Raiders' tone, and Campbellsville didn't score until the 197-pound class when it was already 40-0. Dalton Urrutia (157) and Brock Gutches (174) worked second-round pins, Garrett Urrutia added an 11-3 major decision at 165, and the Raiders got decisions from Tyler Cowger (149), Jacob Abrams (184) and Clayton Burtis (285).

In the championship dual, Poppen's 14-8 win over Jacob Colon was sandwiched by technical falls by top-ranked Grand View wrestlers Ryak Finch (125) and Brandon Wright.

However, the dual swung on tight decisions with which the Vikings' two other two top-ranked wrestlers barely escaped: In the 149-pound bout, Gustavo Martinez defeated Cowger 2-1 on riding time; in the 184-pound bout, Christian Mays scored a last-second win over Abrams, 3-1.

Two Raiders other than Poppen came away with decisions:Urrutia won 3-1 against Grant Henderson and top-ranked 174-pounder Gutches defeated Thomas Momam, 4-1.

Second-ranked Taylor Johnson scored a 10-2 major decision over Derrick Hawkins at 197, but the Raiders were in need of a couple pins down 20-9 by the time the dual reached him.

Grand View had defeated its first three opponents by a combined score of 115-11.

SOU last won a National Duals title in 2009 and lost the title to Grand View by a score of 20-18 in 2013, its most recent prior appearance.

The Raiders ended the weekend with a dual record of 8-2 and will be back on the mats for duals Thursday at Pacific University and Warner Pacific.

Men’s Basketball

SOU 84, NORTHWEST 73: At Ashland, the maturation of freshman guard Ben DeSaulnier continued to pay big dividends for the 11th-ranked Southern Oregon men's basketball team in Saturday's win over Northwest University (Wash.) at Riehm Arena.

DeSaulnier, a Philomath product, racked up a career-high 22 points, including 16 in the second half to spark the Raiders and help them close out a key weekend sweep.

SOU (16-3, 6-2 Cascade Conference) is alone in first place but one of four teams with two CCC losses. The Raiders will close out the first half of circuit action next Saturday in a 7:30 p.m. clash with Oregon Tech (12-6, 5-3) in Klamath Falls.

Northwest (12-7, 2-5) had SOU's lead down to 64-60 when Nemanja Grujicic hit a pair of free throws with 4:36 remaining. DeSaulnier went to the hoop, was fouled and made two free throws on the other end, and Eric Thompson responded to a Gruicic basket with a jumper of his own.

The Raiders began to pull away at that point, getting a stop and a DeSaulnier steal that led to two Thompson free throws and DeSaulnier's transition layup for a 72-62 lead with 2:20 remaining.

Thompson finished with 14 points, and Tim Weber had 15 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals — registering 11 points and seven assists after halftime as he was slowed by first-half foul trouble. Jordan West added 12 points and six rebounds, and Joel Spear had 11 points.

One night after shooting 73 percent in a rout of Evergreen, the Raiders hit at 57 percent and made 15 of 22 attempts in the second half.

The Eagles kept pace by going 30-for-55, the second-best shooting night for a Raider opponent this season. Grujicic had 22 on a 9-of-11 effort, Dak Shagren added 18, and CJ Carter and Tomas Ogbaslassie had 11 apiece.

SOU, which had a 33-29 halftime lead, went up 44-36 with 15:35 left on DeSaulnier's 3-point but couldn't run away. Weber found DeSaulnier for another triple with 6:38 left that put SOU up 61-53 and Ogbaslassie answered back with a 3-pointer of his own.

DeSaulnier, who averaged 2.8 points in the first nine games of his collegiate career, has scored 11 or more in six of his last seven, all off the bench. He's shooting 65 percent overall during that stretch - he was 6-for-8 on Saturday and 8-for-8 from the line - and 50 percent from 3-point range.

The game was Weber's ninth with at least eight assists this season. He went 11-for-14 from the field this weekend, averaging 9.5 assists.

Kenny Meyer added eight points off the bench for the Raiders.

SOU is 7-0 at home this season. Road teams lost all nine games this weekend around the conference.

The Eagles were coming off Friday's 64-62 loss at Oregon Tech in which Carter missed a last-second look in the paint.

Women’s Basketball

SOU 110, NORTHWEST 74: At Ashland, with the first half of Cascade Conference play nearing a close, the 16th-ranked Southern Oregon women's basketball team showed more signs of catching fire offensively Saturday night at Riehm Arena.

Alexi Smith had 22 points and seven rebounds, leading five players in double figures as the Raiders hung a win on Northwest (Wash.). Ashley Claussen posted her first double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 assists, coming one short of a career high in the latter department.

The Raiders (15-2, 5-2 Cascade Conference) shot 58 percent for the game (41-for-71) and turned what was a 20-all tie with eight minutes gone into a 57-37 halftime lead, going first on a 14-2 run and then ending the frame with a 16-4 spurt.

Claussen helped expand that lead in the second half with three 3-pointers and five assists in the first five minutes.

Northwest lost for the fifth time in six games, going to 9-8 overall and 2-5 in the CCC.

SOU has hit the century mark four times this season, and the 110 points are the eighth-most in program history.

The Raiders, who have won 11 straight at home, were lifted by Courtney West’s 18 bench points and eight rebounds, Carly Meister’s 14 points, seven boards and three blocks, and Autumn Durand’s 11 points and two steals. All five Raiders who hit double figures made at least half of their attempts.

Led by Kristen Schoenherr’s nine rebounds, the Raiders also had a 52-30 rebounding advantage.

Northwest was paced by Charmaine Bradford's 18 points and five assists. Jordan Asher had 14 points, but the Eagles were held to 39-percent shooting.

Three straight Raider opponents have failed to reach 40 percent.

Short two regular rotation players, SOU still got baskets from 10 different individuals. Along with West's 7-for-12 showing,Tiani Bradford and Kristin Smeaton both hit two shots off the bench. Bradford also had five assists, giving her 11 on the weekend.

Smith was the headliner, though, going 9-for-11 from the floor. After going for a career-high 26 points last Friday at Northwest Christian, she'd been held to 13 total points in her last two games before again breaking out.

SOU, which is a half game back of Eastern Oregon in second place, resumes play next Saturday at rival Oregon Tech (16-4, 5-3).