Raiders bury Owls with tough defense, hot outside shooting

It was a battle of strengths: Oregon Tech and its No. 1-rated defense against Southern Oregon and its No. 1-rated offense.

But in the end, it wasn't even close. Why? Rhiannon Dickison thinks the answer can be boiled down to three letters.

"IPP," SOU's junior guard said, "put that in there. Intensity, passion, pride."

The Raiders mobilized all three aspects of their team motto, and added some hot shooting and defense, too, in their 83-58 Cascade Collegiate Conference romp over the Owls Tuesday night at McNeal Pavilion.

Dickison hit 5 of 8 3-pointers in a 15-point effort, Chelsey Muri scored a game-high 23 points and Southern Oregon held Oregon Tech to 32 percent shooting in the 25-point blowout, which allowed SOU to leapfrog OIT and take sole possession of third place in the league standings. The Raiders improved to 14-3 overall and 5-2 in league play; the Owls fell to 12-5 and 4-3.

"We just gotta keep playing one game at a time and we just can't be content with where we're at," SOU head coach Lynn Kennedy said.

The Raiders entered the game averaging about 82 points a game and didn't slow down against the defensive-minded Owls, who were torched early and often by a Raider squad that shot 49 percent from the field, including 8 of 15 from 3-point land.

All that scoring for Southern Oregon started on defense, where the Raiders eclipsed the Owls' physical style with some muscle of their own. Kennedy was particularly impressed with Raider guard Emily Brookins, who sacrificed some offense to hold counterpart Jenna Ball to six points on 2 of 12 shooting.

Meagan Miyasaka led the Owls with 18 points. She hit 2 of 5 from long range, but the rest of the Owls were 0-for-14 on 3s. Kennedy said that was no accident.

"We knew they were a good team," he said, "but I just felt like our defensive pressure tonight in the first half really established what we wanted to do."

The Raiders also got 13 points and five rebounds out of Whitney Scott and eight points and seven boards from Jacki Speer. Six Raiders pulled down five rebounds or more as SOU won the battle of the boards 46-39. Kellyn Cooper led that charge, finishing with a team-high nine rebounds.

Southern Oregon used a 15-0 run to turn an 18-16 lead into a 33-16 cushion with about eight minutes to go in the first half. The rally featured a Dickison trey and three fastbreak layups off defensive stops, including a diving steal by freshman Krystal Smith that led to Scott's streaking layin.

"We let them have some open looks in transition and that's all it takes to get a good team going," Oregon Tech coach Matt Greenleaf said. "Lynn's doing a great job with them &

they play hard, they've got a bunch of shooters. It will be a battle the next time we play."

Southern increased its lead to 21 points on another Dickison — before Tech rallied to get within 48-33 at the break.

The second half was more competitive early on, but it didn't stay that way. Crystal Idrogo's layup cut the Raider lead to 13 points with 13 minutes to go and that was as close as the Owls got. SOU scored seven of the next eight points capped by Dickison's final bomb and Oregon Tech couldn't get closer than 17 points the rest of the way.

The win was SOU's 11th in its last 12 games, one of the best runs in the program's recent history. The Raiders are trying not to let that go to their heads.

"We just take it day by day, game by game," Brookins said. "We want to do everything step by step. We're just out to have fun, we're out to enjoy it and win as much as we can. It's just a fun experience here.

"Everyone's passing well, shooting well, playing defense well. We're just working on all cylinders right now."

OREGON TECH (12-5, 4-3)

Miyasaka 8-15 0-0 18, Ball 2-12 2-3 6, Idrogo 6-13 0-0 12, McVey 2-11 4-5 8, Miller 2-9 0-0 4, Ross 2-4 1-2 5, Johnston 1-4 3-3 5, Cooke 0-0 0-0 0, MacKenzie 0-0 0-0 0, Renstrom 0-1 0-0 0, Unruh 0-0 0-0 0, Trout 0-2 0-1 0. Totals: 23-71 10-14 58.


Muri 8-12 6-6 23, Scott 6-10 0-1 13, Brookins 1-4 0-0 2, Dickison 5-13 0-0 15, Speer 4-11 0-0 8, Nakamura 0-0 0-0 0, Sith 1-2 0-0 2, Baker 3-6 0-0 6, Cooper 3-4 0-0 6, Porter 0-0 4-5 4, Scheffler 1-3 1-1 4. Totals: 32-65, 11-13 83.

Halftime""Southern Oregon 48-33. 3-Point Goals""Oregon Tech 2-19 (Miyasaka 2-5, Ball 0-2, McVey 0-7, Miller 0-3, Johnston 0-1, Rensrom 0-1), Southern Oregon 8-15 (Muri 1-3, Scott 1-2, Brookins 0-1, Dickison 5-8, Scheffler 1-1). Fouled Out""Speer. Rebounds""Oregon Tech 39 (McVey 9), Southern Oregon 46 (Speer 7). Assists""Oregon Tech 4 (Miyasaka 2), Southern Oregon 4 (Muri 2). Totals Fouls""Oregon Tech 13, Southern Oregon 14.

Sports editor can be reached at 482-3456 x 224 or joe.

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