The Southern Oregon University women's basketball team finally ended its futility against the College of Idaho. More importantly, it got the breakthrough Cascade Conference win it desperately needed.
Coyotes point guard Elisha Hensey's contested layup bounced off the basket just before the final buzzer, allowing the Raiders to hold on for a 75-73 win Friday night at Bob Riehm Arena that ended a 12-game losing streak in the series with C of I.
Carly Meister posted 20 points on 10-for-15 shooting and eight rebounds, and Kristen Schoenherr went 7-for-14 with 20 points, six assists and four rebounds for SOU (17-5 overall, 6-4 CCC), which was in fifth place through one half of conference play due to losses against each of the top-four teams.
C of I (9-9, 6-4) was one of those teams, having eked out a 91-86 win against the Raiders on Dec. 21. This time, the Coyotes never led after Schoenherr's 3-pointer gave SOU a 35-33 edge with 3:03 left in the first half.
SOU's lead ballooned in the second half from 49-42 to 61-46 in a two-minute stretch when Bree Park drilled four straight 3-pointers. The Coyotes were able to close the gap almost immediately thanks to turnovers on four straight SOU possessions, and were within four when Hensey hit a 3 with 4:35 left.
Meister responded with a jumper. And, after another Hensey triple, Ashley Claussen's bucket made it 75-70 with 2:55 left.
Hensey would hit one more 3-pointer, giving her 21 points, but that was all for the Coyotes.
Erica Martinez added 16 points and six rebounds, Dayna Drager scored 15 and Aleah Lowber had 13 points and seven rebounds for C of I.
SOU got nine points and 11 rebounds out of Allison Gida off the bench. SOU's bench outscored C of I's, 25-0, and the Raiders had a 42-24 advantage in the paint.
The Raiders host 14th-ranked Eastern Oregon at 5:30 tonight. Eastern Oregon is led by former South Medford standout Brittney Newcomb, the CC's leading scorer. The Mountaineers had their conference-record 29-game win streak snapped Friday, 58-50, at No. 19 Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls.