Raiders fall short of upset at N. Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Southern Oregon jumped out to a 17-3 lead before NCAA Division I North Dakota staged an impressive come back to score a 30-24 victory Saturday afternoon.

The two teams started off the game trading first quarter field goals before Paul Sweeney put the Raiders up 17-3 on touchdown passes to Cole McKenzie and Vance Beach.

After the touchdown pass to Beach, the Fighting Sioux offense finally woke up.

North Dakota's Ismael Bamba caught four passes for 62 yards on the next drive, including a 6-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 17-10. SOU fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving North Dakota the ball at the SOU 3-yard-line and three plays later the game was tied going into halftime.

North Dakota turned a third quarter blocked punt into a field goal and then took advantage of a missed field goal to cash in a Jarrel Davis rushing touchdown for a 27-17 lead with 5:09 to play in the third quarter.

Brandon Baldwin opened up the fourth quarter with a 7-yard touchdown run to cut the Fighting Sioux lead to 27-24.

The two teams then traded punts before North Dakota scored a field goal with less than a minute to play and SOU couldn't answer — putting an end to the game.

Baldwin finished the game with 132 yards rushing on 31 carries and finishes the season with 1,181 yards rushing, the most for a Raider since Dusty McGrory's 1,702 yards in 2003.

Sweeney had 138 yards on 11-of-23 passing and two scores. Beach caught six passes for 40 yards and McKenzie caught two passes for 78 yards.

On defense, Thomas Sandoval and Scott Graves both had six tackles.

Jake Landry led North Dakota with 206 yards passing.

North Dakota improved to 5-4 overall. Southern Oregon, an NAIA school, finishes the season 2-7 overall.

Women's Basketball

At Oakland, Calif., Jacki Speer scored her second straight 30-point game as the 18th-ranked Southern Oregon women's basketball team scored an 84-68 victory over Cal Maritime Saturday.

Speer, who scored 34 points Friday night in the a win over Holy Names, went for 36 points Saturday and added 12 rebounds for her second straight double-double.

Krystal Smith had nine points and 15 rebounds, including five big offensive rebounds in the second half.

Emily Brookins had 12 points, while Carly Wood and Lindsey Scheffler both had 10 points.

The Raiders shot 52 percent in the first half and led 43-35 at the half. In the second half, the Raiders kept the lead in double-digits until Cal Maritime cut the advantage to four with five minutes to play before SOU answered.

Southern Oregon improved to 2-0 on the season and will face Pacific Union today.

Women's Volleyball

At Kirkland, Wash., the 12th-ranked Southern Oregon volleyball team scored a 25-14, 25-15, 25-15 victory at Northwest University on Saturday and earned a share of the Cascade Conference regular season championship.

Southern Oregon, winners of 14 straight, finished the regular season 23-2 overall and 17-1 in conference play and tied with College of Idaho for the Cascade Conference title.

College of Idaho will host the conference tournament next week after winning more sets during the conference season. The Raiders open the tournament Friday against third-seeded Eastern Oregon, while College of Idaho faces fourth-seeded Concordia.

Southern Oregon was led by Chelsea Hartman's match-high 12 kills and .357 attack percentage. Leah Bergstrom finished with seven kills and Heather Porter had six block assists.

Leanne Stennett finished with 13 digs and Becky Johnstone had 12 digs. Freshmen setters Angela Spieker and Caryn Westrick both had 13 assists.

Southern Oregon and College of Idaho also shared the title 2007 and the Raiders won the conference title in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Men's Basketball

At Oakland, Calif., Justonn Smith had a season-high 25 points as the Southern Oregon men scored a 76-72 victory over Cal Maritime Saturday night in the Bay Area.

Smith hit on 7 of 10 shots and made 9 of 15 free throws for his 25 points. Ryan Staker had 18 points and six rebounds, and Humphrey Jackson added 15 points and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.

Southern Oregon shot over 50 percent (11 of 20) from the field in first half as they had a 40-36 lead at the half.

As a team, SOU won the game at the free-throw line, making 29 of 39, while Cal Maritime made just 15 of 19.

Southern Oregon improved to 2-1 with the victory.

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