Raiders grind out eighth straight win over OIT
ASHLAND — Especially in regards to its rivalry with Oregon Tech, the Southern Oregon men's basketball team has learned not to take any win for granted.
That's why the Raiders' 67-58 win over the Owls on Saturday night at Riehm Arena will be remembered less for being a little rough around the edges than it will for being their eighth consecutive victory in the head-to-head series.
The 19th-ranked Raiders are 22-6 overall and 11-5 in the Cascade Conference going into next weekend's final regular-season home stand against two ranked opponents — No. 17 Warner Pacific and No. 13 Concordia.
Eric Thompson had game highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds, scoring eight in the last few minutes starting with his bucket at the 2:32 mark on a high-low dish from Jordan West. Before that basket, SOU's lead was down to 49-47.
Trailing by four, the Owls (13-13, 6-10) cut it to 53-51 on the other end on a pair of Lavar Moore free throws. SOU's Tim Weber responded with a tip-in of West's miss, the Raiders got a stop and a Thompson jumper and put it away by going 8-for-10 at the free-throw line.
Weber finished with 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, flirting with his fifth triple-double of the season. West went 5-for-10 with 13 points, Ben DeSaulnier scored eight and Kenny Meyer added seven points and three rebounds off the bench.
SOU and Northwest Nazarene are the only teams to defeat Oregon Tech on eight straight occasions since Danny Miles took over as head coach 44 seasons ago.
The Owls were plagued by 34-percent shooting (21-for-61) that included a 2-for-18 effort from downtown in the second half. They slowed the game's pace to grab a 24-18 edge through the first 17 minutes, but a 7-2 SOU spurt chopped their lead to one by halftime.
Weber's feed to Brennan Rakoz for a layup made it 32-30, SOU, with 15:07 to play, and the Raiders never trailed again.
Moore — who scored 31 points in the teams' first meeting, an 84-80 SOU win on Jan. 17 in Klamath Falls — went 4-for-16 from the field with 11 points. Austen Flint drilled four triples to score a team-high 16 points, and Kyle Waits had 11 points and eight rebounds.
OIT has lost seven of its last eight games.
The Raiders are 9-1 this season at Riehm Arena, and have won four straight at home against the Owls.
SOU 84, OREGON TECH 54: At Ashland, 10th-ranked Southern Oregon celebrated a season sweep with its most lopsided win over the Owls since 1980 at Riehm Arena.
Alexi Smith scored 22 points and Ashley Claussen had 17 points, six assists and four rebounds for the Raiders (23-3 overall, 13-3 Cascade Conference), who kept pace with Eastern Oregon and remained one game out of first place heading into the final week of the regular season. SOU hosts Warner Pacific and Concordia next Friday and Saturday.
Claussen made her first five 3-pointers, including four in the first half to give SOU a 53-26 halftime lead. Her first three went in on successive possessions just four minutes into the game. They were the centerpiece of a 12-2 run that put SOU up 19-9.
The Owls eventually stopped the run to make it 19-12, but they got stuck on that number for the next six minutes, allowing the Raiders to run away with 16 unanswered points.
Kristen Schoenherr registered 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals to help SOU's cause. Courtney West had 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
The Raiders had a 35-20 advantage on points in the paint. Their largest lead was at 78-42 with 3:34 remaining.
Oregon Tech (18-10, 7-9) got 11 points apiece from Karissa Harbick and Tess Armstrong, while Rebekah Matteri chipped in eight points and four boards.
Track and Field
MANGUIN QUALIFIES: At Seattle, Southern Oregon's Amelia Maguin punched her ticket to the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships with an 'A' standard time in the 400-meter open race at the University of Washington's Husky Classic.
Magian hit the finish line in 57.09 seconds, good for 27th of 47 runners overall and tops among NAIA entrants. The NAIA 'A' standard cutoff is 58.70.
Maguin's time stands as the sixth-best in the NAIA.
A two-time outdoor All-American, Maguin's top 400 indoor time last season was 58.14 in the NAIA Championship preliminaries. She just missed qualifying for the final.
Stanford's Kristyn Williams won Saturday's race in 53.35.