KIRKLAND, Wash. – Oregon Tech’s Bobby Hunter made one of two free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining in overtime as the No. 3 Owls edged No. 12 Northwest University, 94-93, in overtime tonight in a battle for first place in the Cascade Conference. With the victory, OIT remains tied with Warner Pacific for the league lead and Northwest U. falls into a second place tie with Southern Oregon.
The two teams battled late into the game, but early on, Oregon Tech took command of the game as they led 29-16 with 6:50 to go in the half as David Clarke hit one of his six 3 pointers. Jordan Call’s jumper cut the OIT lead to 9, 29-20, at the 5:34 mark, but Clarke answered with another trey to increase OIT’s lead to 12, 32-20 (5:06). But the Eagles would slowly get back into the game as they would go on a 9-2 run capped off by a 3 pointer by Ryan Dornik and a free throw by Ahmaad Cook to make it 34-29, OIT, with 2:27 left in the half. Clarke would drain two free throws, but NU would answer as Jordan Call would hit another jumper and Rich Skillman would drain a 3 point shot with 55 seconds remaining to end the scoring for the half with Oregon Tech leading, 38-34.
Big shots and defense would be the theme for the second half as Josh Johnson’s baseline layup would put OIT up by 7 points, 42-35, less than two minutes into the half. Northwest would answer as Rich Skillman would hit a 3 point shot and Jordan Call would be fouled attempting a trey and make all three free throws to pull the Eagles to within 2 points, 45-43, at the 17:09 mark. Call would follow that with another trey to give NU a one point lead, 46-45. After two lead changes and a tie, Tech would go on an 8-2 run for a six point lead, 56-50 with 13:20 left on the clock. OIT would continue to lead for the next six minutes and David Clarke’s 3 point shot with 7 minutes to go in the game would give Tech a sizeable 11 point lead, 76-65. Northwest would whittle away at the Owl lead and with 1:29 to go, the OIT lead would be cut to four, 85-81, after a Jason Waltman layup. After a time out, OIT would fail to score and Skillman would sink two free throws after being fouled on a rebound to make it 85-83 with 51 ticks on the clock. A turnover by Kyle Gomez would give NU the ball with 21 seconds to go and Jordan Call’s driving layup with 1.2 seconds remaining tied the score to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Northwest took a 4 point lead after Tyler Mendezona’s layup and Michael Greene’s 2 free throws. NU had an opportunity to go up 6 or 7 after a Bryant Sentman missed jumper for Tech, but would miss a layup and OIT would counter with Bobby Hunter’s drive and layup to make it 89-87 with 2:40 to go. Defensive stops by both teams stopped any scoring the next four possessions, but a big 3 pointer by Kyle Gomez would give the Hustlin’ Owls the lead, 90-89, with 2:05 remaining. With 49 seconds remaining, Skillman would make his first free throw and Michael Greene would come up with a big offensive rebound on Skillman’s miss of his second shot, score the shot and was fouled by Alex Zerbach. Greene would hit the free throw, 93-90, Northwest with 40 seconds to go. Kyle Gomez would hit another big three with 25 seconds on the clock to tie it at 93-all. Northwest would turn the ball over in their next possession and David Clarke would find Hunter streaking down the middle. Hunter would be fouled on his layup attempt, miss the first free throw and return after a time out to drain the game winner. NU still had a chance with 1.4 seconds to go as a long pass would go off the fingertips of a Tech player and give the ball to NU under their basket with just .8 seconds left. The Eagles would fail to score as Tech would win their 18th game of the season.
Northwest U. (16-2, 6-2 CCC) had five players in double figures led by Jordan Call’s 22 points. Rich Skillman and Tyler Mendezona each scored 15 followed by Jason Waltman’s 12 and Michael Greene’s 10 points. Northwest shot 52% for the game, 69.6% in the second half and 67% from the 3 point line.
Oregon Tech (18-2, 7-1 CCC) got a game high 25 points from Kyle Gomez, 20 points each from David Clarke and Bobby Hunter and 14 points from Scotty Riddle. Clarke hit 6 of 10 of his 3 point attempts (60%) while Gomez hit 4 of 8 for 50% from beyond the 3 point arc. OIT out rebounded Northwest 42-35 which included 18 offensive rebounds. Tech shot 45% for the game, 38% from 3 point distance and made 17 of 22 free throws for 77%.
Oregon Tech heads to Olympia to take on the Evergreen State College with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 pm. Pre-game show will start at 7:00pm on 92.5 KLAD-FM in Klamath Falls or anywhere in the world at www.OITsports.com.
Women’s basketball: Oregon Tech 80, Northwest 69
Four Lady Owls were in double figures, led by Kaitlin Nielsen’s 15, as Oregon Tech rebounded from its loss to Southern Oregon last Saturday with a 80-69 defeat of Northwest.
The win put Oregon Tech just one game behind Cascade Conference leader Eastern Oregon, which defeated College of Idaho 56-52 Friday night.
Carrie Thibault and Kassi Conditt each has 12 points, while Aundrea Albright added a double-double 11 points, 12 rebounds.
Emily Drivstuen led Northwest with 21 points. Jessalyn Jackson, who came into the game second in the nation in scoring, only had 14 before fouling out.
Oregon Tech travels to the Evergreen State College Saturday for a 5:30 PM tip. Broadcast coverage begins following the NFL playoffs on 960 the Sports Legend, approximately 5:15 PM.