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SOU eager for tourney contest

Raiders host Concordia Wednesday hoping to avenge earlier loss to Cavs
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SOU sophomore Eric Thompson with the layin shot past Corban defenders, duing the game at Bob Reihm Arena on Friday, February 15, 2013.
 Posted: 2:00 AM February 19, 2013

For the first time since 2006, the Southern Oregon men's basketball team gets to stay at home during the short week leading into the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament as the 21st-ranked Raiders will host Concordia in a quarterfinal contest on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Southern Oregon clinched the tournament's third seed with its fifth and sixth consecutive wins over the weekend, closing out the regular season by knocking off Corban and Northwest Christian at home. The Raiders go into the postseason with a 22-8 overall record, 13-5 in conference play.

"We're excited about the opportunity to get a home game," SOU head coach Brian McDermott said.

Because the game is a CCC tourney event, SOU passes and season tickets will not be accepted for admission. Game tickets are available for pre-sale in the SOU athletics office and will also be available for purchase at the door. Prices will be $9 for reserved seats with seat backs, $6 for general admission and $5 for seniors and children 12 and under.

Fans are asked to wear red for the game.

The game can be viewed on KDRV NewsWatch 12-plus, available over the air on channel 12.2, Charter Cable channel 291, Ashland TV channel 12.2 and Northland Cable System channel 137.

Live stats and video will also be available through the SOU Athletics website.

Southern Oregon split the season series with Concordia, which finished in the conference's sixth spot with a 9-9 record, 15-13 overall. The Raiders beat the Cavaliers 77-72 in Portland on Dec. 21, but the Cavs returned the favor with an 83-75 win over SOU in Ashland on Jan. 26. That was the Raiders' most recent loss, as they have gone on to win their past six games by an average of almost 14 points.

"Obviously they beat us down here," McDermott said. "So we have a little something there, a little payback that we'd like to get to."

During SOU's six-game win streak, the Raiders have connected on 54.1 percent of their shots (170 of 314) — including 42.7 percent (53 of 124) from 3-point range — while limiting opponents to 36.9 percent shooting (143 of 388).

They have also out-rebounded opponents by an average of 6.5 per game and out-blocked opponents 18-3 during that stretch.

"That's shooting the ball really well, and it's going to have to be that kind of play in the playoffs," McDermott said. "Hopefully we can continue that. We've gotten better offensively at sharing the ball. Our movement's been better and the end result is better shots, which ends up with a better field goal percentage."

Southern Oregon finished the regular season as the top-scoring team in the CCC, averaging 77.2 points per game. The Raiders also led the league in shooting percentage (.481), 3-point percentage (.407), assists (17.3) and 3-point defense (.283). They rank second in opponent shooting (.394) and rebounding (38.6).

Kyle Tedder averaged 15.7 points per game to rank fourth in the conference, followed by Eric Thompson at 14.4 and David Sturner at 12.8.

Sturner was one of two CCC players to average a double-double during conference play, tallying 10.4 rebounds per contest while shooting 50.6 percent.

Jeff Bush led the conference in assists (5.2) and assist/turnover ratio (2.3), while Tedder's .449 3-point percentage and 61 3-pointers both led the CCC.

"We like our team, we like the way we're playing right now," McDermott said. "We're getting a little bit better defensively. I think we're miles ahead of where we were offensively just a month ago."

Concordia averaged 71.8 points per game and ranked in the middle of the CCC in almost every team statistical category.

Adam Herman won the league scoring title by almost three points per game, averaging 21.2 points per contest while ranking third in rebounding (9.4), shooting percentage (.584) and free throw percentage (.810).

"They're a very good team and they've got a lot of weapons," McDermott said. "They've got one of the best, if not the best, player in the league in Adam Herman. For three years he's just been about as efficient a player as you can get. He's a tough, tough matchup, not just for us but for anyone in the league."

Willy Ligon joins Herman as one of the top scorers in the league, ranking sixth with an average of 15.4 points per game and totaling 42 3-pointers. Justyn Searle paced the conference with 32 blocked shots and averaged 6.4 rebounds per game.

"They've got a lot of players," McDermott said. "They're a very good basketball team, and we'll have to be at our best."

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