SOU falls behind big, then blitzes Knights
PORTLAND — The Southern Oregon women's basketball team's performance in a 21-point road win at one of the top teams in the Cascade Conference was cause for major concern early on Friday night.
On the road for the first time since Eastern Oregon handed them their only loss of the season two weeks ago, the ninth-ranked Raiders trailed 29-10 early in the second quarter at Warner Pacific. It was at that point, however, that a staunch defensive effort sent them on a 57-10 run and eventually a 75-54 victory over the Knights at C.C. Perry Gym.
The Raiders went to 19-1 overall and 12-1 in the Cascade Conference, maintaining their one-game lead over Oregon Tech atop the standings.
They were caught off guard as the Knights — who lost 86-38 on Dec. 31 in Ashland — shot 9 of 13 in the first quarter while holding the Raiders to 2 of 11 and forced nine turnovers. They led 27-10 and made the first bucket of the second quarter before the tables turned.
SOU went on to force 31 turnovers, and the Knights shot 23 percent (8 of 35) the rest of the way.
Autumn Durand led the Raiders with 15 points, 10 rebounds, three of their five blocks and two of their 18 steals. It was her second double-double of the season, and all four of her double-figure rebounding games have come in SOU's last eight outings.
Carly Meister went 6-for-7 with 16 points, leading the Raiders to 48-percent shooting as a team, while Ashley Claussen had 11 points, five steals, four rebounds and three assists.
The Knights (13-6, 8-5), dropped from fourth to fifth place.
SOU 78, WARNER PACIFIC 76: At Portland, Ben DeSaulnier banked in a leaning 17-footer at the buzzer to give 15th-ranked Southern Oregon the win.
The Raiders, who overcame an eight-point deficit in the final 10 minutes, improved to 18-5 overall and 11-2 in the Cascade Conference.
Earl Jones had knocked down a floater in the lane with 5.5 seconds left to tie it for the Knights. They went to 14-8 and 9-4 in the CCC.
Jordan West recorded 19 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks to lead four Raiders in double figures. DeSaulnier got his 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting with eight rebounds, Justin Martin scored 12 and Clay Sierra added 10 points and five boards. Joel Spear had nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Raiders trailed at halftime, 47-40. SOU tied it for the first time at 55 on Martin's 3-pointer with 10:41 remaining. But in the next 78 seconds, the Knights forced three turnovers and scored eight unanswered points, with six from Ashland High product Collin Malcolm.
The Raiders countered with a 7-0 run — West scored four straight and DeSaulnier made a 3-pointer in the corner — and they tied it when Martin hit a triple to make it 65-65 with 6:30 left.
SOU 29, MENLO 8: At Atherton, Calif., 17th-ranked Southern Oregon rolled over No. 10 Menlo, taking eight of 10 matches.
The Raiders are 10-2 in dual meets.
SOU freshman 133-pounder Matt Peterson had the only pin of the night in 5 minutes 48 seconds over Joel Palabrica.
SOU started the night with five straight wins to go up 17-0. C.J. McKinnis (165) won by major decision over Elliy Gorelik, 16-4 in the first match; Reed Tennyson (174) topped Stone Escobedo, 9-3; fourth-ranked Ryan McWatters (184) scored a 17-8 major decision against Nick Karis; 16th-ranked Tanner Fischer (197) won 7-3 against Kenny Steers; and Zane Wardwell (285) dropped Brady Rivera, 11-4.
In the final two bouts, fourth-ranked Tyler Cowger shut down Jeff Uyesaka, 8-1, and Hunter Hodges clung to a 5-2 victory over James Luscombe.