A 4-0 start was good, but the competition ahead will be even better for Southern Oregon's work-in-progress of a women's basketball team.
The Raiders will travel to Lewis-Clark State's Twin Rivers Physical Therapy Classic in Lewiston, Idaho, for Friday's 5 p.m. game against the host Pioneers (5-0 overall) and Saturday's 3 p.m. tipoff against Cal State San Marcos (1-1). Both times are Pacific.
Fresh off of two wins last weekend at Arizona Christian, SOU will be tested on a new level against a solid NAIA Division I program and an NCAA Division II.
"That's the biggest thing, especially with a young team that hasn't played together all that much yet," SOU head coach Lynn Kennedy said. "Playing on LCSC's home court will kind of give us a conference feel that a lot of our players haven't had yet and San Marcos is going to be solid, too."
Though injuries and illness have plagued the Raiders in the early going, a variety of scorers are helping them mask their problems. Six players broke into double figures in two of their wins and five got their in another, helping them average 88.8 points.
Sophomore post Carly Meister leads the team in scoring and rebounding with averages of 13.5 and 7.3. Also picking up the scoring slack are Bree Park (13.0), Kristen Schoenherr (11.0) and Ashley Claussen (10.8). Park has knocked down 13 of 26 3-point attempts and Claussen averages 4.2 assists.
At Arizona Christian, the Raiders had to overcome an early 10-point deficit in the first game and hung on to a 22-point halftime lead in the next.
"They were two really different games in a tough road environment, so it was good for us," Kennedy said. "We shot it better later and there was a nice improvement from night to night."
Lewis-Clark State has yet to be tested, winning by an average of 45.6 points, but is thought to be better than last season's 8-21 team that took an 88-59 loss against the Raiders. Tannis Fuller is posting 13.2 points and 7.6 boards at forward.
San Marcos went 13-19 last year and has never played SOU. Freshman point guard Lindsay Uyematsu is averaging 39.5 minutes and went for 22 points and four assists in an 80-60 win over La Sierra last week.
The Raiders will remain on the road next week at Oregon Tech's Midland Empire Classic.