ASHLAND, Ore. – Third-ranked Oregon Tech used a 17-4 second-half run to pull away from rival Southern Oregon 69-56 in front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 1,400 in Cascade Collegiate Conference men’s basketball action Saturday night at Bob Riehm Arena.
Southern Oregon falls to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in conference play, while Oregon Tech improves to 17-2 overall and 6-1 in the CCC. Both teams return to action Jan. 13 on the road, when the Raiders will face Evergreen and the Owls will take on Northwest at 7:30 p.m.
Eric Thompson scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds to lead both teams in each category. Jordan Highland and Kyle Tedder each added 11 points, while Terriel Thompson grabbed nine rebounds for the Raiders.
Bobby Hunter led Oregon Tech with 19 points, while Bryant Sentman finished with 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds and Scotty Riddle finished with 12 points.
Southern Oregon led by as many as four points early in the contest before Riddle’s three-pointer tied it up at 14-14 midway through the first period. The Owls used a 14-3 run to turn a 17-17 tie into a 31-20 advantage a few minutes before halftime, and the visitors took an eight-point lead into the break.
Jeff Bush scored the first points of the second half, and after a David Clarke three-pointer pushed the Owls’ lead back to nine points SOU scored seven straight points to pull within two at 38-36 on a Highland trey. Kyle Gomez responded with a three-pointer for OIT, and the Owls pushed their lead back to nine when Riddle hit again from beyond the arc with 11:34 remaining.
Oregon Tech took its biggest lead of the game on a Hunter Jumper with 7:32 to play, giving the Owls a 55-40 advantage to finish off a 17-4 run. The Raiders scored the next six points, but SOU would not get closer than eight points back the rest of the way.
Both teams struggled from the field, shooting an identical 36.4 percent (20-of-55) in the game. Oregon Tech made two more three-pointers than SOU, but the biggest difference was at the free throw line. The Owls made 22 of 27 attempts at the charity stripe for a percentage of 81.5, while SOU made only 11 of 21 attempts from the line (52.4 percent.)