Klamath Falls, Ore. – The No. 25 Lady Owls handed the No. 3 Raiders their first CCC loss and second loss of the season, as SOU falls to Tech by a score of 72-69 on Danny Miles Court.
The game tipped off with both teams fighting on the defensive side of the ball, not allowing anyone a clean look at the hoop. The first 5:00 minutes of the game saw just one shot from the floor made, as SOU senior, Demi Sahlinger, would hit her open three-pointer, 1:30 into the game. Tech senior, Carly McIsaac, found a lane to the basket and was fouled on the play, converting her two free-throws, bringing the score to 2-3. The first period of play would see SOU establish an offensive presence and take an 11-point lead, while Tech hit just 11% (1-9), as the score sat 7-18 in favor of the visitors.
The second quarter started with the Lady Owls working to climb back into the game. The two teams exchanged the next five buckets, until the Raiders were able to stretch their lead to 16 points. A timeout called with 4:46 left to play in the half, had Tech on a 6-2 scoring run, bringing the game back within 10 points, at 17-27. Coming off the timeout, Tech would continue to close the gap, as an Ashleigh Vandenbrink three-pointer cut the lead again. SOU found an offensive rhythm to close out the half stretching the lead back to double digits. Tech ended the half with a big defensive stop that transitioned to Tech junior, Baylee Toney, finding senior, Mary Drzayich, in the corner for an open three-pointer that she would drain. The buzzer sounded sending the teams into the halftime break with a score of 27-36.
Coming off the pause in action, the Lady Owls showed a different level of focus. The pace of the game sowed down, as Tech quickly cut the Raider lead to 3 points, with a big three-pointer from the corner by Toney. Toney would repeat minutes later, as another three-pointer would bring the score within one point, at 39-40, before a timeout would halt the action. Picking the action back up, teammate Drzayich found Toney again, as she hit her third three-pointer of the game, leveling the score at 42-42. Tech would not slow down and on their next possession, junior Nohea Waiwaiole found herself on the free-throw line, hitting both shots and seeing the Lady Owls take their first lead of the night. The quarter would come to a close with the intensity levels high and the score close, at 54-55.
The final stanza of play saw very little separating the two teams down the stretch. With just 3:31 remaining in the game, a timeout would momentarily clear the floor and the score 66-62 in favor of the Lady Owls. Three straight blocked shots halted the Raiders attack, while Tech converted them into six points on the other end, giving the home team up an 8-point lead. In the last 2:00 minutes in the game, SOU senior Autumn Durand would find herself on the free-throw line hitting on 3 of 4 shots and bringing the game within one possession. In the last :09 seconds of the game, Toney would find herself on the free-throw line with a chance to put the game away, but could not hit on either of her shots. The Raiders ran the court with one last chance to level the score. SOU’s Sahlinger found herself with the last shot of the night, as the game tying three-pointer would hit the front of the rim and the buzzer sounding.
On the night, SOU shot 38% from the floor and was led in scoring by senior Sydney Mullings with 18 points. Autumn Durand added 15 points, while Toria Bradford and Demi Sahlinger ended with 12 and 11 points apiece.
The Lady Owls turned around their first quarter shooting struggles, to shoot 46% from the field on the night. Junior Baylee Toney led the team on the night by putting up a career high 20 points. Nohea Waiwaiole was close behind with 18 points, while Ashleigh Vandenbrink was the other lone Owls in double-digits with 13 points.
With the loss, the Raiders move to 14-1 in the CCC and 21-2 on the season. The win moves Oregon Tech to 13-2 in the CCC, seeing them sit alone in second place heading into the weekends action, and they move to 20-5 on the season.
The Lady Owls will be heading to Walla Walla, Wash. this weekend to take on Walla Walla U. at 6:00p.