Raiders' streak snapped

Outshout, outplayed and outscored, the Southern Oregon University men's basketball team received a much needed wake-up call on Friday night.

Unfortunately, it came about a week too late and consequently at the expense of their Cascade Conference record.

In the league-opener for both teams, Concordia (9-0, 1-0) got hot early and often and snapped SOU's six-game winning streak, 81-64. The Raiders (7-2, 0-1) have less than 24 hours to recover, as they'll welcome in Warner Pacific, the fifth-ranked team in NAIA Division II, at 7:30 tonight.

"That's a really, really good team they have, but they just beat us in every conceivable way," SOU coach Brian McDermott said. "They came in and showed who the better team is right now, and we showed we have a long way to go."

Justonn Smith's 14 points led the Raiders, but eight of those very tellingly came with the game already out of reach.

Humphrey Jackson's three gave SOU an early 9-4 lead, but was also one of the only bright moments for the home team. It was followed by three straight Concordia triples, and the hot shooting didn't stop there.

Concordia pushed the run to 22-0 before SOU could stop it, as the Raiders went eight minutes without scoring and 10 without a field goal.

The Cavaliers had their largest lead in the first half at 34-14, and even though the Raiders cut the lead to 12 by the end of the half, it was more of the same in the second. In fact, it only got worse.

They made their first six shots to start the second — 6-foot-9 post Alex Thiefenthaler went on a personal 10-0 run in the stretch — en route to 69.6 percent shooting in the frame (16-for-23), including 4-for-5 from three.

"We were just awful defensively, and they made us pay for it," McDermott said. "We didn't follow the scouting report, get hands in shooters' faces, communicate or really do any of the things you need to do to win games."

Thiefenthaler, who had a game-high 19 points and went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, gave the Cavs their biggest lead of the night at 71-43 on a jumper with seven minutes to go before the Raiders were able to put together a mini-rally that was effective only in making the game respectable.

Drew Preuninger and Dustin Hiebert were the only other Cavs to hit double-digits (11 points apiece), but it was a balanced all-around effort; Thiefenthaler was the only player to make more than four field goals.

Concordia shot 56.9 percent in all, went 10-for-18 from three and held SOU to sub-par shooting in each half. The Raiders went 9-for-27 in the first, and only got worse in the second at 11-for-35.

After getting 56 points from its bench in a win last Saturday against Willamette, SOU had two players with field goals off the bench on Friday and got 25 points. Roland Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds, but also committed five turnovers.

Warner Pacific, which dropped its opener at No. 11 Oregon Tech, 71-62, enters tonight's contest losers of two of their last three after starting the year 4-1.

Josh McDermott is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Contact him at mcdermott.josh@ymail.com.

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