ASHLAND — The last time the Southern Oregon University women's basketball team lined up against Oregon Tech, the Raiders got all they could handle from the Owls.
It was no different Wednesday night at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium. But this time, when the Raiders got down, they were unable to get themselves back out.
Behind a quality second-half performance on both ends of the floor, Oregon Tech ended No. 9-ranked Southern Oregon's 13-game winning streak, holding off any kind of late-game comeback bid the Raiders threw the Owls' way to claim a 78-70 victory in Cascade Collegiate Conference action.
For just the second time this season, SOU (20-2 overall, 12-2 CCC) will look to rebound from a loss the next time it takes the court — which will come on the road Friday when it faces Walla Walla in the first of two games against the Wolves within a two-day period.
With the loss, the Raiders now trail conference leaders Eastern Oregon (21-2, 14-0) by two games in the standings.
Southern Oregon started the game brightly, as it opened the game on an 11-2 run and held a 22-15 lead over Oregon Tech after the first quarter. Remi Mejia and Ariel Augustine combined to score 15 of SOU's 22 first-quarter points, with the former hitting three of her four 3-pointers on the night in the opening 10 minutes.
However, a second quarter in which the Raiders shot all of 19 percent from the field not only let the Owls back in the game, but allowed the visitors to tie it at 34-all heading into halftime.
The Raiders never truly recovered and got going again offensively, shooting just 31.6 percent in the second half.
Oregon Tech (18-8, 11-5) used a 15-7 run to build a 49-41 lead to open the third quarter, forcing SOU to be in catch up mode the rest of the night. Alix Biddington and Megan Morris — who finished with a team-high 20 points — capped the run with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and a steal and transition layup, respectively.
The Raiders, who shot just 32 percent for the game, made it a one-possession game on five different occasions in the fourth quarter, but were unable to completely get over the hump and tie things up.
The Owls were also money from the free throw line down the stretch, hitting all 10 of their final attempts from the charity stripe. They finished 14-for-16 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Mejia scored 12 of her game-high 21 points in the first half, while also knocking down all four of her 3-pointers before the break.
Toria Bradford finished with 15 points, while Augustine added 13 points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds for the Raiders.
Besides Morris, three other Owls finished in double figures in the game. Abby Kreiser scored 16 points off the bench — and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line — while Amanda Constant and Mikaela Shoemaker added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
At Ashland, Oregon Tech sophomore guard Mitchell Fink exploded for a season-high 42 points to lead Oregon Tech to an 86-79 win over rival Southern Oregon at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
The Raiders (15-8, 10-4), who entered the game on a five-game winning streak that vaulted them up to second place in the CCC standings, saw the Owls (18-8, 11-5) use a 20-10 run over a six-minute stretch late in the second half to take a 84-74 lead after it was tied at 64-all.
Fink scored 29 of his game-high 42 points in the second half. He finished 17-of-26 from the field.
Jordan Hunt, who was one of five Raiders to score in double figures in the game, finished with team high totals in both points (19) and rebounds (7).
Tristen Holmes, the Raiders' late-second hero last Friday against Multnomah, added 16 points, while Aaron Borich (14), Ben DeSaulnier (13) and Tate Hoffman (10) rounded out SOU's double-digit scorers.
Southern Oregon returns to the court this weekend when it faces Walla Walla University on both Friday afternoon and Saturday night in its penultimate road trip of the regular season.
Danny Penza is the sports editor for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-776-4483 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.