EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Tech, the top ranked team in the NAIA, clinched at least a share of the Cascade Collegiate Conference regular season crown for the fifth time in the last six seasons by knocking off Northwest Christian, 80-66 in the Morse Event Center.
It was the Beacons that had an early advantage, going up 5-0 on baskets from Trevor Parker and Brody McGowan. The Owls quickly got their feet under them and used a 12-2 run to take a lead that they would never relinquish. OIT went ahead by as many as 19 points in the half before taking a 47-30 lead into the intermission.
Head Coach Corey Anderson said, “OIT is ranked #1 for a reason. They are a talented group of guys that really plays well together. Energy-wise, we were even with them for the first few minutes but we started to turn the ball over too much. They started converting our turnovers into layups and dunks and it was uphill game for us after that.
Northwest Christian never backed down in the second half and eventually out-scored the Owls over the final twenty minutes to, 36-33. Oregon Tech maintained a healthy lead throughout the period, never letting the Beacons get closer than twelve points.
Oregon Tech (26-3, 15-2 CCC) was led by freshman Bobby Hunter, scoring 19 points while adding four steals and three assists. Kyle Gomez scored 17 points and led all players with seven rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Scotty Riddle added 14 points and David Clarke finished the game with eleven points, five boards and three assists.
Northwest Christian (11-18, 4-13) was led off the bench by Jordan Buhler, scoring 12 points. Mitch Wilson added ten points and Travis Pacos finished with seven points and three steals. Jordan Myers led NCU with five assists. Tyler Fox came off the bench in the second half to hit a pair of three pointers, finishing with eight points.
The loss for NCU pushes the Beacons one game behind The College of Idaho for eighth place in the CCC after the Coyotes defeated Concordia on Friday night. NCU will need a win on Saturday, coupled with a C of I loss to #10 Warner Pacific to force a tie-breaker. Should that occur, NCU will face a coin-flip for the final spot in the CCC post-season tournament.
Oregon Tech will look to claim the conference championship outright against Corban University in Salem on Saturday night; game time is slotted for 7:30 pm.
Women: Northwest Christian 74, Oregon Tech 61
The Northwest Christian University women’s basketball team hit a school-record 15 three-pointers on Friday night to knock off Oregon Tech, 74-61. Junior Aly Bruns led the charge, hitting 6-for-7 from behind the arc.
NCU Head Coach Liz Turner-Bolton said, “I’d love to say that was planned tonight. We just came out and hit a few big shots and the lights came on. We shot the ball really well tonight. We’ve been pushing Aly to be the aggressor on offense and to find her shots on the perimeter and she did a great job of that tonight.”
Bruns broke NCU single-game records with her six trey and her .857 shooting percentage from three-point range. She was a perfect 4-for-4 from outside in the first half as the Beacons dropped in ten from behind the arc, taking a 44-28 halftime lead.
Oregon Tech fought hard in the second half, jumping out on a 7-2 run to quickly pull to within nine points. The Beacons sent the lead back to 13-points but an OIT made a 8-0 run, capped off by a three-pointer by Rebekah Matteri, brought the visitors to within five points, 54-49 with 12:15 to play.
The Beacons then buckled down on defense, holding the Owls to four field goals for the rest of the contest to pull out the 13-point victory.
Bruns finished with 20 points to lead Northwest Christian (11-18, 3-14), adding four assists and three steals. Four other players were in double-figures including senior Martha Taylor with 13 points and Lindsey Shearer with twelve. Shearer added six assists and three steals and collected a game-high eight rebounds, giving her the new single-season record at NCU for rebounds (264).
Also in double-figures were Kelsey Atkins and Jess Anderson with ten points apiece. Anderson pushed herself over the 500-point mark for her career and passed Amy Croll for ninth on NCU’s all-time scoring list. She heads into her final collegiate game with 504 career points. Coach Turner-Bolton said, “Jess always does what we ask her to do and she does it with poise and grace. I am grateful for the years we have had with her.”
Oregon Tech (21-8, 10-7) was led off the bench by Kassi Conditt, scoring 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Karissa Dixon added 11 points and eight rebounds and Colleen Hunt scored nine points with a team-high three assists.
With the loss, OIT is now locked into fifth place in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. The Beacons sit one game behind both Concordia and The Evergreen State for eighth place and could pull into a tie with a win and losses by both schools on Saturday night.
Oregon Tech travels Salem to take on Corban (20-6, 14-3) on Saturday at 5:30 pm.