Stuck in a rut early on, 11th-ranked Southern Oregon's dynamic backcourt duo of Toria Bradford and Remi Mejia came to the rescue Tuesday night with a combined 53 points on 30 shots in a 77-67 win against Western Oregon at Mountain Avenue Gym.
Bradford, a senior from Oregon City, scored a career-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting with four steals. Mejia, a senior from Medford, poured in 25 on 9-of-14 shooting with a pair of steals. Together — after SOU (9-1 overall) trailed by 13 in the first quarter and seven at halftime — they made all 10 of their field-goal attempts during a third quarter in which the Raiders outscored the Wolves (5-3) 27-13.
SOU has defeated two NCAA Division II opponents this season and owns four such victories over the last three years.
Casey Williams chipped in eight points and two steals for the Raiders, who forced 26 Wolves turnovers, including 12 in the momentum-swinging third quarter.
Tied 42-42, the Raiders took the lead for good midway through the third when Mejia came up with a steal and took a pass from Bradford for a transition layup. Fifteen seconds later, Bradford picked Kenney Corrigan's pocket and darted free for her own easy layup.
The sequence took place in the middle of a 22-7 run that was capped by another Bradford steal to a layup, putting SOU up 57-48 and in the driver's seat for the rest of the night.
Savannah Heugly's 15 points and five rebounds led the Wolves. Corrigan made four 3-pointers on her way to 14 points, but WOU failed to hit a triple in the second half after making five in the first. Shelby Snook, who entered the game as the team's leading scorer, was held scoreless on five shots.
Mejia has scored at least 20 points for the Raiders in four of their last six games. Bradford's previous season-high had been 15 points; she eclipsed her old career-high of 22, which was established last December.
The Raiders return to Cascade Collegiate Conference play Friday and Saturday in Washington, with visits to Northwest and The Evergreen State.