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RAIDER ROUNDUP: LC State beats SOU for share of CCC title

LEWISTON, Idaho — Thirty-four minutes passed before Southern Oregon generated any momentum Friday at Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) — enough time that the clock eventually ran out on the Raiders’ frenzied fourth-quarter comeback and their bid to clinch the Cascade Conference title.

In a battle of two teams locked together in first place on the penultimate day of the regular season, the 21st-ranked Warriors escaped with a 60-55 win at the P1FCU Activity Center. Kami Walk’s 19-pound, 14-rebound effort and late heroics weren’t enough to overcome a slow start that left the Raiders (24-5, 17-4) playing from behind all afternoon.

The Warriors (24-3, 18-3 CCC) are guaranteed at least a share of the championship and can take it outright with a win today against Oregon Tech. The Raiders will have no worse than the No. 2 seed in next week’s CCC Tournament if they win at Walla Walla (Wash.), and they’ll own the No. 1 seed if it’s paired with an LCSC loss.

SOU shot 2-of-19 in the first quarter, trailed 25-16 at halftime and was down as many as 13 points in the third.

Brianna Phiakhamngon’s 3-pointer cut into an 11-point deficit with six minutes to play, signaling the start of the Raiders’ first prolonged run. Down 52-44 with 3:09 left, Walk hit two 3-pointers and a 19-footer on consecutive possessions to trim the lead to two.

After Warriors guard Callie Stevens made a pair of free throws to make it 56-52, Syd’Nee Fryer banked in a deep 3 from straight on with 21 seconds left. Maddie Holm then made two at the line, and with six seconds left Phiakhamngon misfired from the corner on a potential game-tying attempt.

Fryer joined Walk in double-double range, recording 11 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Phiakhamngon scored 11.

Men’s Basketball

LEWIS-CLARK STATE 72, SOU 66: At Lewiston, Idaho, Behind K’wan Carter and Atmar Mundu, the Southern Oregon men’s basketball team clawed all the way back from a 15-point deficit in the second half before running out of gas in a loss to Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

Carter scored 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting and Mundu scored 16, hitting all four of his 3-point attempts. They both contributed two buckets during the Raiders’ 17-2 spurt that tied the score at 53-all midway through the second half, but seven turnovers from that point on nullified their efforts.

Oreon Courtney lifted LCSC with 28 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 12-of-15 from the field and converted back-to-back baskets inside immediately after SOU tied the game, putting the Warriors in front for good.

The outcome had major implications on the Cascade Conference playoff race as the Warriors (20-9 overall, 13-8 CCC) forced a tie for third place with the Raiders (16-13, 13-8). Pending the outcome of Corban’s late game at 11th-place Evergreen (Wash.), it could be a three-way tie heading into Saturday’s final games of the regular season.

Because all three teams split their regular-season matchups, a tiebreaker would come down to their records against teams that finish .500 or better in conference play. SOU wraps the regular season at last-place Walla Walla (Wash.), which blew a 17-point lead and lost at the buzzer Friday against Oregon Tech.

College Softball

SOU SWEEPS HOPE INTERNATIONAL: At Fullerton, Calif., Southern Oregon still has Hope International (Calif.)'s number, supplying the latest evidence in an NAIA Top 25 matchup at Bastanchury Park.

After knocking out the No. 17-ranked Lions in each of the last two NAIA Championship Opening Rounds, the fifth-ranked Raiders maintained bragging rights by smacking six home runs in a sweep, winning 6-3 and 14-2 in six innings.

Second baseman Deja Acosta went deep in both games, finishing the afternoon 5-for-8 with five RBIs and five runs scored. Ashton Cathey, Riley Donovan, Piper Love and Cayla Williams also cleared the fence.

The Raiders improved to 9-2 and dropped HIU to 7-4. They received stellar pitching performances from Katie Machado, who went the distance with five strikeouts to win her fourth straight decision in Game 1, and Williams, who tossed five two-hit innings with five strikeouts in Game 2.

The lineup stole the show, and Acosta got it going with a two-run shot, her first of the season, to put SOU up 2-1 in the third inning of the opener. She added an RBI single in the fourth.

The Raiders continued to knock around Royals ace Allie Puente in the later innings, getting solo shots from Cathey — her second in as many days — and Donovan — her second of the season — in the sixth and seventh, extending the lead to 6-1.