PORTLAND — Ninth-ranked Southern Oregon made another road victory look easy Saturday at Bart Valentine Court, 84-55 over Warner Pacific, and for the sixth consecutive season the Raiders have hit the 20-win mark.
Their 13th consecutive win looked a lot like the previous 12, though junior forward Ariel Augustine registered her first double-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and two steals, and senior forward Nitteayah Barfield dropped in a career-high 10 points with six rebounds and two steals off the bench.
The Raiders (20-1, 12-1 Cascade Conference) forced 30-plus turnovers — 31 to be exact — for the sixth time this season and the second night in a row. They also knocked down 12 3-pointers — Sophia Altemus (9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) and Remi Mejia (19 points, 4 assists) accounted for three apiece — and shot 41 percent from the field (31-of-76), eclipsing the 40-percent mark for the fourth game in a row. Through the 17 games prior to that stretch, they'd gotten over 40 on six occasions.
Trailing the Knights (10-14, 6-8) 19-18 through one quarter, they stole momentum to start the second as Mejia scored five quick points and Augustine hit a 3-pointer unanswered. After WPU later tied the score, they took a 16-6 run and a 44-34 lead into halftime.
A wide-ranging cast kept the pressure on: Toria Bradford contributed 11 points and five assists, Casey Williams stuffed the box score with seven assists, five points and three steals, and the bench combined for 13 field goals.
The Raiders' average margin of victory during the streak has been 21.7 points. They've won 11 straight matchups with the Knights and swept the last five regular-season series.
WPC shot just 34 percent (21-of-62) and put one player in double figures, getting Deepika Kapil's 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.
On Wednesday, the Raiders will rematch with the team that gave them their most formidable test during the streak, archrival Oregon Tech. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Mountain Avenue Gym. SOU needed overtime to win the first meeting on Jan. 2, 83-79.
SOUTHERN OREGON 89, WARNER PACIFIC 80: At Portland, Southern Oregon's most complete performance of the season came at an opportune moment in a critical defeat of 15th-ranked Warner Pacific at Bart Valentine Court.
Senior guard Kenny Meyer dazzled again with 23 points, four assists and three steals, sophomore post Jordan Hunt had 19 points, six rebounds and six assists, and SOU shot 61 percent from the field (35-of-57) — its highest clip in 51 Cascade Conference games going back to 2015-16 — including a blistering 10-of-16 from 3-point range.
In completing their third straight regular-season sweep of the Knights (16-7, 10-4 CCC), and winning on their home floor for the fourth straight visit, the Raiders (15-7, 10-3) took over sole possession of second place. Their winning streak is at a season-high five games going into Wednesday's rivalry game with Oregon Tech at 7:30 p.m. inside Mountain Avenue Gym.
Meyer stealing the show in a big game was nothing new. He shot 9-of-12 from the field, 3-of-4 from 3, and misfired on just one of his seven attempts in the second half. In SOU's four wins against nationally-ranked CCC opponents, he's averaged 23.3 points on 65-percent shooting and canned 10 of 15 tries from deep.
Tate Hoffman had 13 points and eight rebounds and Ben DeSaulnier and Tristen Holmes scored 11 apiece. They were all hot in the first half, when SOU shot 9-of-12 from 3 and DeSaulnier set the tone by hitting a pair of triples within the game's first two minutes.
SOU's largest lead early was eight points. The Knights, carried by Xavier Cannefax's 27 points and De'Jon Bowman's 22 points and 17 boards, cut it to 49-45 by halftime.
WPU had a 54-53 edge with 15:55 to play before Meyer hit jumpers inside on back-to-back possessions, and the Raiders clung to the lead for the rest of the night. Meyer's deep 3-pointer on the wing made it 74-64 with eight minutes left.
Point guard Aaron Borich helped them close it out with all eight of his points and two of his four assists in the second half. After WPU got within five points with 1:31 left, the sophomore made four straight free throws.
WPU shot 46 percent overall (30-of-66). Coming into the night, the Knights had won 11 consecutive home conference games.
CALIFORNIA OPEN: At San Francisco, Southern Oregon's Chandler Michael advanced to the 149-pound final and four other Raiders were top-six placers at the 41st annual California Collegiate Open, hosted by San Francisco State University at The Swamp.
Michael, who sat out SOU's last three duals, won his seventh, eighth and ninth straight matches in his return — defeating San Francisco State's Nick Valadez, 10-3, unattached opponent Adam Valdez by major decision, 11-2, and Oregon State's Conner Noon in the semifinals, 8-4. The 10th-ranked junior, whose record went to 22-6, lost the championship match to Cal Baptist's Daxton Gordon, 6-2.
Elsewhere for the Raiders, Trey Long (125 pounds) placed fourth, Matt Peterson (133) was fifth, and Tanner Canaday (157) and Devin Poppen (141) were sixth in their respective brackets.
Long was pinned in his first match but stayed alive with two consolation wins, a 9-6 decision over Menlo's Logan Eaton and a win by fall in 2:31 over Cameron Keating. A medical forfeit put him in the 125 third-place match, which he dropped to unattached Jeremy Trinh, 16-12.
Peterson went 3-2 on the day with a pin of Cal Baptist's Cyril Maravilla (1:22), a 6-4 win against teammate Kale Evenson, and a pin of Menlo's Elias Hernandez 4:06 into their fifth-place match.
Canaday and Poppen both reached semifinals. Canaday did so by winning his first three matches — a pin of Anthony Estrada in 49 seconds, a 12-2 major decision over Simpson's Noah Marquez and an 8-2 decision over Simon Ermolov. Poppen started with a pin of Nathan Johnson in 2:53 and an 8-4 defeat of San Francisco State's Austin Solari. He lost his semifinal to Stanford's Isaiah Locsin, 17-2, and defaulted with an injury a minute into his consolation semifinal.
The Raiders are off until next Saturday, when they'll host Warner Pacific at 1 p.m. and Eastern Oregon at 3 p.m. inside Mountain Avenue Gym.