KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.– Oregon Tech used a 16 point second half run to pull away from UC-Merced and cruised to a 89-62 victory tonight at Danny Miles Court to open the 2012 campaign. Mihajlo Matic would add a career-high 32 points, including a 10-of-18 effort from behind the arch, to push the Owls to the victory.
Trailing to start the game, Oregon Tech hit back-to-back-to-back triples and moved up 9-6. UC-Merced would come back to tie the game at 11-11, but a 24-6 run by the Hustlin’ Owls opened up the game, 35-17.
A 10-0 run from the visitors got the game back to single digits, 35-27, while the Bobcats closed out the half with an 8-3 spurt, as the Owls held a slim five point lead, 40-35, at the intermission.
The teams would trade points to begin the second half as the Owls held a six point lead, 56-50, with 12:46 to play. Over the next five minutes, however, Tech held the Bobcats scoreless, as a 16-0 run gave the home team a commanding 72-50 advantage.
Oregon Tech extended their lead to 31 points, their largest of the night, before settling for the 89-62 victory.
Following Matic’s game-high 32 points, Tech’s Josh Wiseman chipped in 12 points, followed by 10 points from Kyle Waits. Alex Zerbach grabbed a game-high 7 rebounds, with Zerbach, Austen Flint and Jordan Kiely each scoring 8 points in Tech’s win.
Aki Chamber led UC-Merced with 22 points to go with 5 rebounds, with George Idehen knocking down 10 points and Kevin Ellsworth 8 in the loss for the Bobcats.
The Owls shot 53.1% from the floor on 34-for 64, including 17-for-36 from the 3-point line (47.1%). UC-Merced hit 45.5% on the night (25-for-55) and just 3-for-12 from long distance.
Oregon Tech will host Pacific Union College on Sunday beginning at 5 p.m.