Raiders try for another road win at OIT
ASHLAND — Earning quality road wins this season has been a near-impossible task within the Cascade Conference men's basketball landscape, as the top six teams have combined for a 24-1 record on their home floors.
Southern Oregon's success rate has been almost as dire at Oregon Tech, which happens to be one of those six teams separated by one loss in the standings.
The 10th-ranked Raiders (16-3 overall, 6-2 CCC) — who own that lone key road win, a 78-75 overtime effort to start conference play at 14th-ranked Concordia — will attempt to steal another from the Owls (12-6, 5-3) at 7:30 tonight at Danny Miles Court.
The Raiders, who are alone in first place but one of four two-loss teams in the CCC, have won six straight against the Owls and three straight in Klamath Falls. But prior to those wins, they had lost 28 of 29 in the series and had not won on OIT's home floor since 1999.
College of the Siskiyous transfer Lavar Moore and his 24.4 points per game have made the Owls a more formidable opponent again. The junior guard has led them in scoring in all but one game and led them to six wins in their last seven after an early three-game skid.
"My thought is that they're definitely a lot more comfortable than they were in the beginning of the year," SOU coach Brian McDermott said. "Offensively it looks like everyone has slid into their roles and they know what they're looking for. They look a lot smoother, and the result is that they're making more shots."
One game short of the CCC's halfway point, 6-foot-8 senior guard Tim Weber of SOU has caught the league off guard by putting up the best all-around numbers in the circuit.
Weber ranks 14th in CCC play in scoring (14.3), first in assists (8.0), 17th in rebounding (5.4), 12th in field-goal percentage (57.3) and ninth in blocks (0.9). He owns the only three triple-doubles in McDermott's 19 years as head coach (and was one rebound short of a fourth) and has totaled double-digit assists seven times.
Those numbers are up from a solid junior campaign when he put up nine points, 4.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game.