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SOU's Bradford, Mejia voted all-league

ASHLAND — The senior backcourt that has driven the Southern Oregon women's basketball team to its fourth straight NAIA National Tournament berth was rewarded with All-Cascade Collegiate Conference recognition on Tuesday.

Toria Bradford, a 5-foot-5 point guard from Oregon City, and Remi Mejia, a 5-5 off-guard from Medford, both landed on the 12-person All-CCC team, which was voted on by the league's coaches. SOU junior forward Ariel Augustine received honorable mention.

In her third season with the Raiders, Bradford was the CCC's 12th-leading scorer (12.5 points), ranked fourth in assists (4.1), fourth in steals (2.3), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8) and 12th in field-goal percentage (45.5). Of greater importance, her defensive pressure is the primary reason the Raiders average more steals per game than any team at the NAIA Division II level and have ranked top-five in the category three years in a row.

Bradford, the CCC's co-defensive player of the year two years ago, enters her final national tournament at No. 5 on SOU's career steals list (242) and No. 9 on the assists list (321).

Mejia, a graduate student, transferred from Portland State to provide the boost needed for a team that lost every starter except Bradford. She led the conference in scoring average (17.5), was second in steals (2.9) and 14th in assists (2.7), and her 92 made 3-pointers (on a 39-percent clip) are the third-most ever in a season for a Raider. With 535 points, she's also No. 10 on SOU's single-season scoring list.

Augustine has done her best work toward the end of the season and shot up to No. 11 on the CCC's scoring leaderboard at 12.9 points per game. She's scored in double figures 13 of her last 14 games and also led the team in rebounding at 5.5 per contest.

Eastern Oregon, which defeated SOU in the CCC Tournament championship game Monday, had the player of the year in Maya Ah You-Dias, the defensive player of the year in Stormee Van Belle, and the coach of the year in Anji Weissenfluh.

At 27-4 overall, the Raiders will learn their national tournament draw today. The 32-team field will begin action March 7 in Sioux City, Iowa.