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RAIDER ROUNDUP: Shorthanded SOU falls to EOU

LA GRANDE — A Sailor Liefke takeover stopped shorthanded Southern Oregon from stealing what would have been its most impressive win of the season Saturday in a battle for first place in the Cascade Conference against Eastern Oregon.

Liefke scored 32 points, including her team’s last eight of the game, to lift the Mountaineers to a 68-65 win over SOU at Quinn Coliseum. They improved to 14-7 overall and 11-2 in the CCC, taking a one-game lead over the Raiders and Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in the standings.

Despite the absences of injured starters Syd’Nee Fryer and Kami Walk — their leading scorers and rebounders — the Raiders (17-4, 10-3) trailed for just four minutes total and were up 58-52 after Danasia Allison sunk her fourth 3-pointer with eight minutes left.

The Mountaineers chipped away and finally tied the score with 2:23 to go before Brianna Phiakmangon gave the Raiders their final advantage with a runner in the lane at the two-minute mark. Liefke responded with a pull-up jumper for the tie, and following a defensive stop she weaved through traffic and connected on a floater in the lane.

The Raiders missed a potential go-ahead 3 with 13 seconds left and Liefke knocked down a pair of free throws to push the lead to four. She put an exclamation mark on the performance with a steal on SOU’s ensuing possession, going coast-to-coast for a layup.

Liefke, a junior guard, finished 12-of-18 from the field and 5-of-10 from downtown. She scored 20 of EOU’s 32 in the first half, keeping SOU’s halftime lead at seven.

Allison stepped up for the Raiders with a career-high 16 points, four rebounds and two steals. She shot 4-of-6 from 3; she’d only hit four triples all season before the outburst.

Phiakmangon matched Allison with 16 points and four assists of her own, and Clara Robbins shot 6-of-10 to record 12 points and eight rebounds.

Men’s Basketball

EASTERN OREGON 65, SOU 62: At La Grande, Tez Allen scored 16 second-half points but was unable to connect on a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer as Southern Oregon fell to Eastern Oregon at Quinn Coliseum.

Phillip Malatare posted 21 points and six rebounds to lead four Mountaineers in double figures. He helped them navigate eight second-half lead changes with 13 over the final 10 minutes.

With 1:53 to play, Preston Chandler’s 3-pointer pushed EOU’s lead to 63-59. SOU guard Atmar Mundu drove in for a layup that cut the deficit to one with 16 seconds left before Cooper Lumsden hit two free throws on the other end, forcing Allen to take a deep 3 while fading towards the sideline for the potential tie.

The Mountaineers bumped their record to 12-9 overall and 6-7 in the CCC. The Raiders slipped to 11-10 and 8-5, putting them in a tie for fourth place with Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in the standings.

Allen did all of his scoring in the second on 6-of-9 shooting and also pulled down 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Mundu totaled 12 points and three steals, Josh Meyer went for 13 points and seven rebounds, and Joe Juhala added 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench after missing Friday’s game at College of Idaho.

Men’s Wrestling

SOU TRIO PLACES IN TOP FIVE: At Marshall, Mo., Southern Oregon finished with three top-five placers on the second day of the Missouri Valley Open.

The Raiders landed at 10th of 38 in the team standings behind second-place JJ Talavera (157 pounds), fourth-place Justin Coon (133) and fifth-place Evan Potter (133). The trio accounted for 55 ½ of their 69 team points.

Top-ranked Grand View (Iowa) won the tournament with 156 ½ points, edging second-ranked Life (Ga.)’s 147.

Talavera, the NAIA’s No. 14-ranked 157-pounder, advanced to the semifinals with four straight wins Friday and was given a free pass to the championship match with a forfeit victory. Grand View’s Israel Casarez defeated him 8-2 for the title.

Coon — after dropping his second match of the tourney — took the toughest road of any Raider with five consecutive consolation wins to reach the third-place match, where 15th-ranked Nick Kunz of Montana State-Northern stopped him in a 4-0 decision. On his way there, however, he knocked off 10th-ranked Taylor Vasquez of Morningside (Iowa) by 11-5 decision. That win set up his 5-2 consolation semifinal decision over Life’s Keegan Slyter.

Potter, ranked 14th at 133, was the other Raider to get through Friday’s quarterfinals. Life’s Hunter Sparks took a 5-1 decision off him in the semifinals, and Kunz beat him 8-5 in the consolation semis. He rebounded in the fifth-place match, defeating Slyter by 11-2 major decision.