KLAMATH FALLS — Southern Oregon let an 11-point lead slip away in the second half and Oregon Tech scored the final 10 points in its 89-82 nonconference win on Friday night.
With the Owls (2-2 overall) trailing 82-79, Brandon Halter got free for an equalizing 3-pointer in the corner with 1:23 left. After an empty SOU possession on the other end, Halter made a contested 3-pointer from the wing to put the Owls up with 52 seconds on the clock. They made four straight free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the victory.
SOU (3-1) had its biggest lead at 58-47 when Kenny Meyer — who scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half — converted a basket-and-one on the break. Halter, though, led a 15-4 run by twice hitting from deep with defenders in his face as the Owls tied it at 62-62 by the 10-minute mark.
The Raiders didn't trail in the second half until Joel Yellow Owl's bucket with 2:42 left, but Meyer put them back on top with a fall-away jumper near the baseline and the next possession, and Tristen Holmes pushed the advantage to three with a pair of free throws. The lead was short-lived.
Halter scored 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from downtown and Yellow Owl had a game-high 23.
Holmes went for 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Raiders. Jordan Hunt scored 12 points — including two jump-hooks that broke ties down the stretch — and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Ben DeSaulnier added 12 points and Tate Hoffman, filling in for injured starting forward Hunter Bradford, went 4-for-4 with nine points.
The Raiders shot 52 percent from the field but just 16-for-26 from the free-throw line.
SOU returns to Klamath Falls next Friday and Saturday to play in OIT's tournament against California schools La Sierra and William Jessup.
At Lewiston, Idaho, the Southern Oregon women's basketball team misfired on 47 of its first 55 field-goal attempts and trailed from start to finish Friday in a 90-51 loss at seventh-ranked Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), an NAIA Division I quarterfinalist last season.
The second-ranked Raiders ended up at 23 percent (18 of 78) in their first counter of 2016-17. Tiani Bradford scored a team-high 10 points but needed 19 shots to get them. She was not alone in her struggles: At 1-for-2 with five points and four rebounds, Sydney Mullings was the only Raider to shoot over 30 percent.
In their 17-point exhibition rout of Humboldt State 10 days ago, the Raiders shot 53 percent.
The Warriors (5-0 overall), who led 47-17 by halftime, put six players in double figures: Caelyn Orlandi (20 points), Natahnee Spencer (14), Jossilyn Blackman (13), Brooke Litalien (12), Hailey Turner (12) and Brittany Tackett (10).
They went 32-for-69 from the floor and 10-for-25 from 3-point range and only committed 11 turnovers – the lowest number for an SOU regular-season opponent in two years.
Demi Sahlinger had six assists and five rebounds for the Raiders. Autumn Durand contributed eight points and nine boards, while Casey Williams and Majerle Reeves scored eight apiece off the bench.
SOU continues play at L.C. State's tournament today, 1 p.m. against Montana Tech.
All-Americans Tyler Cowger and Hunter Hodges were part of a three-pin run that sparked Southern Oregon in its 31-20 win against Warner Pacific, but they accounted for the Raiders' only points in a 34-11 loss to Menlo that capped the Doc Welton Classic on Friday night at Mountain Avenue Gym.
The seventh-ranked Raiders, competing in their first duals of the season, won five straight matches and four with bonus points in their win against the Knights, but dropped their last five against the 12th-ranked Oaks after cutting the deficit to 12-11.
In the first dual, Casey Coulter started the rally at 133 pounds with a 9-0 major decision over Josh Crager. Trailing 6-4, the Raiders busted the dual open with pins from Devin Poppen (141) over Calvin Hall in 1:43, Cowger (149) over Josh Wharton in 2:13, and Hodges (157) over Robert Frasier in 4:33. C.J. McKinnis (165) then notched an overtime takedown of Jesse Johnson for a 3-1 decision before WPC's national champion, Blake Cooper, ended the run with a technical fall against James Bowers.
Milagros Garcia, Alejandra Rodriguez and Desiree Zavala picked up two wins apiece and the Southern Oregon women's wrestling team opened its dual season with a split Friday afternoon at the Doc Welton Classic inside Mountain Avenue Gym.
The 10th-ranked Raiders started with a defeat of the No. 15 Warner Pacific Knights, 31-6, by winning seven of eight contested weight classes. The eighth-ranked Menlo Oaks topped SOU, 29-18, in the final women's dual of the day.
Zavala — a freshman and four-time Washington state champion at Grandview High — highlighted the win with an 8-0 upset in the 143-pound bout of Kiera Gabaldon, WPC's fourth-ranked All-American. Annastassia Ramirez (116 pounds) won the first contest by 9-0 technical fall against Kaitlyn Funai, Anesia Ramirez (123) took a 9-2 decision against Delila Houck, Rodriguez won by 12-2 technical fall over Rachel Coleck and and fifth-ranked Kal Holliday (136) won 10-0 against Regina Bell leading up to Zavala's upset.
Kristina Diaz claimed a 5-0 decision against Jasmine Ivey at 155 for WPC's only win, and SOU's Milagros Garcia (191) finished the win in a 10-1 decision over Mixtly Simon.
The Raiders fell behind 18-5 against Menlo before Rodriguez got them on the board with a first-round pin of Melanie Cordero. Two matches later, Zavala pinned Marilyn Garcia in 27 seconds.