KIRKLAND, Wash. — Southern Oregon men's basketball coach Brian McDermott is now all alone atop the program's coaching leaderboard Friday night as the 24th-ranked Raiders defeated Northwest 80-73 in Cascade Collegiate Conference action.
The win, Southern Oregon's first in Kirkland since 2007, improves the Raiders' record to 19-8 overall and 10-5 in conference play and moves them one step closer to clinching a home game in the first round of the conference tournament. Southern Oregon ranks third in the standings with three games to play, two games behind second-place Warner Pacific and a half-game ahead of fourth-place College of Idaho.
McDermott's 242nd win at Southern Oregon moves him one ahead of Ted Schopf and into sole possession of the SOU program record. With that milestone achieved, the Raiders will take on Evergreen at 7:30 tonight looking to move yet another step closer to their first home conference tournament game since 2006.
The Raiders came up big on both offense and defense in the win. Southern Oregon shot 55.3 percent (26 of 47) from the field while limiting Northwest to only 37.7 percent shooting (26 of 69). The two teams made the same number of shots, but Northwest attempted 22 more than SOU, including 33 attempts from beyond the arc for the Eagles.
Southern Oregon's David Sturner posted a 15-15 night in points and rebounds, while Eric Thompson made 8 of 9 shot attempts to score a team-high 19 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Taylor Roos added 10 points in the win.
Michael Russo finished with a game-high 21 points for the Eagles (19-9, 9-7). Ryan Dornik scored 16, Nemanja Grujicic tallied 13 and Michael Greene posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
It was all about the second half for Southern Oregon after the Raider offense struggled early. In the opening period, SOU shot only 38.1 percent (8-of-21) and turned the ball over nine times to give Northwest a 14-0 advantage in points off turnovers. The struggles led to the Eagles claiming a 33-26 lead at the break.
Southern Oregon turned it all around in the second half, shooting a scorching 69.2 percent from the field (18 of 26), including 4 of 8 from 3-point range and making 14 of 18 attempts from the free throw line to outscore Northwest 54-40 in the half.
It took the first seven minutes of the second half before the Raiders finished erasing the halftime deficit to tie it up at 46-46 on a layup by Jordan West. Even after that point, Northwest continued to pull ahead, as the Eagles took a five-point lead on a Grujicic three with four minutes to play.
From that point on, Southern Oregon outscored the Eagles 17-5 to claim the victory. Three free throws by Sturner pulled the Raiders to within two and Tim Weber dropped a trey to put SOU back on top 69-68 with 3:01 remaining. Southern Oregon led the rest of the way, as Thompson made back-to-back jumpers and Weber and Sturner followed with free throws to close out a 13-point SOU streak that gave the visitors an eight-point lead in the final minute.
SOUTHERN OREGON 76, NORTHWEST 61 — At Kirkland, Wash., Southern Oregon bounced back from a slow first half to outscore Northwest by 20 points in the second and claim a key Cascade Collegiate Conference victory.
Melissa Sweat scored a game-high 17 points, while Alexi Smith made 7 of 9 shots on her way to 16 points for the Raiders (19-8, 8-7 Cascade). Angelica Cahee tallied 12 points as the Raiders outrebounded Northwest 46-35 and out-shot the Eagles 45.8 percent (27-of-59) to 33.3 percent (22-of-66).
Sanda Milovic led Northwest (2-21, 1-15) with 16 points, while Ashly Coila and Alyssa Dario each scored 11 and Domi Mendezona finished with 10.
SOUTHERN OREGON 26, SIMPSON 19 — At Ashland, the second-ranked Southern Oregon wrestling team overcame an early deficit to score a home victory over Simpson at Bob Riehm Arena.
Southern Oregon improved to 11-3 on the season and will host long-time rival Pacific tonight at 6 p.m. in the annual senior night dual.
RAIDERS START 2-1 — At Redding, Calif., the Southern Oregon softball team bounced back from a season-opening loss in the morning to win its next two games during the first day of the Simpson Tournament.
Southern Oregon finishes the day with a 2-1 record and is set to return to action today with three more games at the tournament.
In SOU's opener, British Columbia scored four runs in the seventh inning to win 5-1.
Later in the day, Simpson scored five runs in the first three innings to take a 5-1 lead, but Southern Oregon scored three in the fourth and added three more in the top of the seventh to pick up the 7-5 comeback victory.
The Raiders took advantage of four Simpson errors to score seven runs on only four hits. Lauren Keel finished with a pair of hits and an RBI, and Sierra Anderson finished 1-for-2 with an RBI. Sydney White limited Simpson to two earned runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts to earn the win.
In SOU's final game of the day, Biola took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth before the Raiders put together a two-out rally in the top of the seventh to claim a 2-1 win.
Irene Barrantas and Willison hit consecutive two-out singles, and Stephanie Vandenbusch lined a single into center to drive the duo home and give SOU its first lead of the contest. Chelsea Talbert earned the win with the complete-game performance, limiting Biola to the one run on seven hits.