Raiders look for turnaround against No. 7 Owls

After suffering two tough losses on the road last weekend, the Southern Oregon men's basketball team will be looking to get back on track against rival Oregon Tech Saturday night.

The Raiders and No. 7-ranked Owls will tip off at 7:30 p.m. at McNeal Pavilion. There will be no pre-sale of tickets for the game. Instead, tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis when doors open at 4 p.m. Saturday.

For the Raiders, Saturday's Cascade Conference tilt against their arch rivals is almost a must-win. Southern Oregon (9-8) has lost seven of its first eight league games as it approaches the halfway point of the conference season, while Oregon Tech (17-3) is 6-2 in league play, a half-game behind first-place Warner Pacific.

Southern Oregon head coach Brian McDermott believes the key to Saturday's game will be defense.

"We have to be able to contain (Justin) Parnell and (Joseph) Foster," McDermott said. "They are OIT's best players and can do a lot of damage."

Joseph Foster (18 points per game) and Justin Parnell (17 ppg) are combining for 35 points for the 2008 NAIA Division II National Champions.

While Parnell and Foster represent OIT's strengths, the Raiders will likely rely on their scoring depth. Southern Oregon has four players averaging double-digits.

Seniors Jarrad Childs (16.4 ppg), Ryan Staker (13 ppg), Justonn Smith (11.4 ppg) and Humphrey Jackson (10.9 ppg) lead the Raiders in scoring, while Drew Herrera (7.7 ppg), Roland Johnson (7.6 ppg) and David Grant (7.1 ppg) are close behind.

The Raiders also have a little momentum in the long standing series with the Owls. SOU defeated Oregon Tech last year, snapping a losing streak that dated back to the 2001-02 season.

Women's Basketball

After recording an exhilarating win over Northwest University last weekend, the Southern Oregon women's basketball team will be looking to carry that momentum into Saturday's rivalry game against Oregon Tech.

Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. at McNeal Pavilion, with tickets available for sale at the door starting at 4 p.m.

The Raiders (14-5 overall) enter the game in an unfamiliar position — at 3-5 in league games they're eighth in the Cascade Conference standings. Oregon Tech (11-9) sits a game ahead of the Raiders in the standings at 4-4.

"Every game from here on out is very important," SOU head coach Lynn Kennedy said. "Especially home games, we need to take care of our home court."

Southern Oregon's effort will once again center around Jacki Speer. Despite playing just 38 minutes in last weekend's games in Washington, the senior forward is still among the nation's leaders in scoring (20.0) and rebounding (13.7).

Last weekend, Speer broke the school record for free throw attempts in a career with 712. Speer now holds the school record for rebounds and free throw attempts and ranks second in scoring and free throws made.

The Raiders also received a boost from senior Ashley Baker and junior Jamie Roupp last weekend

Baker averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds on the road trip, while Roupp went for 8.5 points and seven rebounds.

Oregon Tech enters Saturday's game after winning three of their last four.

Kellie Morey-Lewis leads the Owls in scoring at 11.1 per game.

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