Raider comeback attempt falls short in first day of Classic

The Southern Oregon men's basketball team turned the ball over 21 times and Simpson University scored its first win of the season with a 90-87 victory Friday at McNeal Pavilion in the first day of the Flagship Inn Classic.

Simpson is now 1-6 on the season. Southern Oregon fell to 2-4 overall.

In the opening game of the night, top-ranked Oregon Tech took down The Masters College 81-63. Saturday night, Oregon Tech faces Simpson at 5:30 p.m. and Southern Oregon hosts The Masters College at 7:30 p.m.

Eli Thornton led SOU with a game-high 21 points. Austin Wolfer had 14 points, while Kory Mahr finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Jarrad Childs had 11 points and Humphrey Jackson had 10.

Justin Sparks led Simpson with 20 points, including a 10-for-12 effort from the free throw line.

Despite the turnovers, the Raiders made it a game late in the second half after Simpson had pushed the lead to 81-65 with 8:14 to play.

Thornton got the SOU fans involved with a dunk to cut the lead to 81-71 with 4:27 to play. A three-point by Mahr capped a 14-0 run to make the score 81-79 with 2:49 left in the game.

Simpson responded by going 9-for-10 from the free throw line to give itself a 90-81 lead with 10 seconds to go, but it still wasn't over.

A Jackson 3-pointer and a turnover plus another Jackson trey cut the lead to 90-87 with five seconds to play.

The Raiders then forced another turnover, but Jackson couldn't get the last-gasp 3-pointer off before time expired.

SOU lost despite outshooting Simpson 55 percent to 40 percent.

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