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Faust has big game as OIT makes finals

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Kaison Faust, a freshman from Medford, scored 19 points to help Oregon Tech advance to the NAIA Division II men’s basketball national championship game Monday with a 93-81 defeat of College of Idaho.

The eighth-ranked Owls (28-7) will play the other semifinal winner, either Marian, Indiana, or Spring Arbor, Michigan, for the title at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.

Faust, a 6-foot-3 reserve guard from North Medford, averages 8.5 points per game. But he made 7 of 9 field goals and 5 of 7 free throws against Cascade Conference rival and fifth-ranked College of Idaho (30-6). He also contributed five rebounds and four assists.

Seth Erickson paced the Owls with 27 points seven rebounds.

Mitchell Fink added 14 points and 12 assists.

Faust made a basket from inside the key with 13:10 left in the first half to put Oregon Tech ahead, 19-18. It was a sign of something big.

The Owls built an eight-point lead, with Faust getting a basket and an assist.

The Yotes tied it at 28-28, but another Faust score put the Owls up for good.

Faust left the game at 9:41 and returned at 5:22, with OIT leading 36-29. He scored five of the Owls’ next seven points for a 43-29 edge, and Oregon Tech kept the pressure on, building a 52-29 lead by halftime.

College of Idaho got within 10, 61-51 at 12:17 of the second half, before the Owls pulled away again, Faust starting an 11-2 run with a basket.

Oregon Tech made it to the semifinals by knocking off defending champion Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday, 107-93.