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Defense paves way for SOU women

ASHLAND — While the defense continued to make its case as the Cascade Conference’s best, Southern Oregon’s offense had just enough Kami Walk on Friday night to knock off Eastern Oregon.

Walk put up 20 points and 13 rebounds, helping SOU recover from a 17-point first half and bank a 55-47 victory over the Mountaineers in a Cascade Conference matchup at Lithia Motors Pavilion.

The Raiders (8-1 overall, 2-0 CCC) survived their sixth straight win by forcing 30 turnovers and holding the Mountaineers (4-6, 1-1) to 18-of-47 shooting. That, and getting a fourth double-double from their star sophomore forward.

They missed their first 20 field-goal attempts that weren’t taken by Walk and fell behind 18-8 with a few minutes left in the second quarter but heated up from there, shooting 52 percent in the second half.

Walk shut the door with nine points and five rebounds in the fourth quarter. Syd’Nee Fryer tallied nine points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Brianna Phiakhamngon scored 10 points, and Danasia Allison came up with three fourth-quarter steals.

“I thought our team pulled out a gutsy win,” SOU coach Carlotta Kloppenburg-Pruitt said. “Our defense kept us hanging until we could turn the corner offensively.”

Adyson Harris scored 12 points and Sailor Liefke had 11 for the Mountaineers.

The Raiders hadn’t won a regular-season game against EOU since the 2016-17 season.

Men’s Basketball

SOU 70, EASTERN OREGON 67: At Ashland, with Southern Oregon trailing by one in the final seconds, Tez Allen took a contested fallaway jumper in the lane that missed the rim, but Joe Juhala was there for a putback that dropped through with seven-tenths of a second left on the clock.

SOU added to its lead thanks to a technical foul, EOU threw away its ensuing inbounds pass to miss out on a potential shot for the tie, and the Raiders (4-6 overall) celebrated their first Cascade Conference win.

Forward Josh Meyer helped them get over the hump with a season-high 26 points on 8-of-16 shooting and six rebounds. He, Allen and Juhala accounted for 38 of SOU’s 44 second-half points. Allen finished with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Juhala tallied 15 points and seven boards.

Women’s Wrestling

SOU EARNS NO. 1 RANKING: For the first time in program history, the Southern Oregon University women’s wrestling team owns the NAIA’s No. 1 ranking in the latest edition of the coaches’ poll that was released Friday by the national office.

The top three teams — SOU, Life (Ga.) and Grand View (Iowa) — are separated by two points, which are accumulated based on individual rankings. The Raiders were No. 3 in the preseason poll; the new poll is the first of the regular season.

The Raiders have 13 individuals who currently rank among the top-20 in their respective classes, including 10 top-eight wrestlers. Defending national champion Sienna Ramirez kept the No. 1 spot at 155 pounds, Emily Se is No. 4 at 130 and Tara Othman is No. 5 at 116.

Among the rest of the Cascade Conference, Menlo (Calif.) is No. 11, Providence (Mont.) is No. 14, Eastern Oregon is No. 15 and Corban is No. 18.