Owls beat Lourdes at NAIAs

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POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — There was a unanimous decision on what decided Oregon Tech’s 58-49 victory over Lourdes University in the opening round of the NAIA Div. II Men’s Basketball Championship.

The first five minutes proved crucial both teams acknowledged afterward, with neither team shooting well nor avoiding fouls.

Soon on MyBasin.com: Interviews with Oregon Tech & Lourdes University coaches & players

With the win, Oregon Tech advances to the second round at 1:45 PM Central Time on Friday (Broadcast at 11:15 PM Pacific Time – 92.5-FM KLAD). OIT has never lost in the first round.

Lourdes, playing in its first ever NAIA tournament game, in only its second season as a program, kept the No. 2 Owls at close range, trailing 12-9 with 9:14 remaining until halftime.

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During that stretch, Oregon Tech players Kyle Gomez and Bobby Hunter went into foul trouble, each with three. Lourdes couldn’t capitalize while OIT’s best two scorers were off the floor for long stretches, falling behind 29-21 at halftime.

Gomez and Hunter each played less than their 27 minute-plus per game averages.

Oregon Tech began shooting better in the second half, going 48 percent from the floor. Hunter scored eight second half points to lead OIT with 10 points in the game. Gomez finished with the same total.

Scotty Riddle, battling the flu, played the second-most minutes on the team and scored nine points, as did Jason Gamblin.

Lourde’s lone senior and leading scorer John Willhite had 11 of his game-high 13 points in the second half.

Link: Box Score – Oregon Tech 58, Lourdes 49