ATHERTON, Calif. — Jordan Hunt’s lowest-scoring outing of the season included his biggest bucket, a go-ahead three-point play with 3.6 seconds left that made 22nd-ranked Southern Oregon a 71-68 winner against No. 21 Menlo (Calif.) on Friday afternoon at Haynes-Prim Pavilion.
Hunt, a junior forward who was SOU’s leading scorer when the day started, was limited to one field goal until the Raiders’ final possession. With the game tied, Tristen Holmes let the clock bleed before backing his defender into the paint and finding Hunt cutting to the basket. Holmes’ bounce pass wasn’t handled cleanly by Hunt, but the brief fumble allowed him to draw contact while bouncing in a layup.
Tez Allen picked off Menlo’s desperation pass on the other end of the floor as the Raiders improved to 9-1 going into Cascade Conference play next weekend.
Freshman guard Teron Bradford scored a team-high 14 points, closing the first half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that gave the Raiders a 34-31 lead and opening the second with another. SOU trailed at just two points in the second half — 62-60 with 5:20 to go and 64-63 a minute later — but Bradford answered with buckets both times.
Junior forward Tate Hoffman turned in his second double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Jake Virga had eight points and five assists. With them and Conor Carroll (9 points) leading the way, the Raiders’ bench accounted for 28 of their 34 first-half points and allowed them to erase what was a 9-0 deficit just 1:24 into the game.
Holmes scored nine of his 12 after halftime as SOU went up by as many as seven midway through the second half.
Menlo (2-4) trailed 68-64 after an Allen drive with 2:41 left before back-to-back Henry Cornelious finishes at the rim tied it.
The Raiders will open their CCC schedule on the road, playing next Friday at Eastern Oregon and Saturday at defending champion College of Idaho.
SOUTHERN OREGON 74, LC STATE 72: At Ashland, freshman guard Kalei Iwami had the decisive blow as No. 12 Southern Oregon held on for a over Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) after losing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead at Lithia Motors Pavilion.
In their first loss of the season, the Warriors (7-1) were held to 30-percent shooting but scored seven unanswered points to tie the game, 71-71, with 2:11 left on Cal Moscrip’s second-chance bucket. On the other end, an on-ball screen got Iwami free and she stepped into a 3-pointer on the wing for the go-ahead points, helping the Raiders improve to 4-2 in their first on-campus game since 2015.
The Warriors had a handful of chances to tie it: They missed three of four technical free throws — including two of the administrative variety — in the final minute, and on a baseline out-of-bounds play with four-tenths of a second left, Jossilyn Blackman uncontested layup was too strong.
The Raiders shot 36 percent from the field but went 12-of-24 from downtown. Ariel Augustine was 5-of-7 from 3 and scored a game-high 15 points with six rebounds, Dominique Harding hit both of her 3-pointers off the bench to total 10 points and six rebounds and Destinee Jones added 10 points, six boards and two steals.
Syd Fryer had 11 points and five rebounds and Kenadee Honaker chipped in five points and eight rebounds. Off the bench, where the Raiders recorded 28 points, Iwami and Delaney Sparling hit two 3-pointers apiece.
LC State’s Abbie Johnson had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Kiara Burlage nearly joined her with 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
After holding the Raiders without a field goal for the first seven minutes of the game, the Warriors watched SOU hit five triples in the second quarter and stake to a 32-24 halftime advantage.
The game was the Raiders’ last prior to Cascade Conference play. They’ll travel next weekend to Eastern Oregon and College of Idaho.