No. 2 Raiders ease past ice-cold Mountaineers

LA GRANDE — The second-ranked Southern Oregon University men's basketball team dealt Eastern Oregon apt punishment Friday night for the latter's woeful offense.

SOU's largest margin of victory on the Mountaineers' home floor in 37 seasons was the result of Eastern's 3-for-25 marksmanship from the Quinn Coliseum 3-point lines. The Raiders took advantage to the tune of an 83-60 Cascade Conference victory, their 11th straight overall.

The Raiders (13-1 overall, 3-0 CCC) put five players in double figures against the league's top defense: Eric Thompson (16 points), David Sturner (14), Jordan West (13), Jeff Bush (12) and Tim Weber (11).

Thompson was limited by foul trouble to 15 minutes but went 5-for-8 from the field, and West made all five of his attempts off the bench. Sturner had a game-high nine rebounds, Bush had six and Weber five.

The bigger story, however, was on the other end of the floor. Eastern's leading scorer, Tony Eackles Jr., went 0-for-10 from the floor, and fellow starter Kevin Attila was 0-for-7. By halftime, the Mountaineers had 1-for-16 shooting from outside and an overall mark of 7-for-26 to blame for their 35-22 deficit.

Trevor Phillips led EOU (9-3, 1-2) off the bench with 18 points. Derek Maloney, another reserve, had 12 points and seven rebounds. The Mountaineers shot 35.8 percent (19-for-53) from the field.

Consecutive makes at the basket by Bush put the Raiders up 20-10 midway through the first half. He capped the frame with four more points in a row, and the gap steadily widened in the second when Thompson made five straight jumpers.

Thompson gave the Raiders their biggest lead, 48-28, with a 3-pointer, then knocked down another one to make it 57-34 at the 12-minute mark. Eastern never got back into it.

SOU shot 46.4 percent (31-for-64) and turned the ball over just seven times.

Though the Raiders won in their last visit to La Grande — 89-71 in the semifinals of last year's conference tournament — they had lost seven straight regular-season meetings there. The last time they won this big was an 81-56 thumping during the 1976-77 season.

The real test will come tonight at College of Idaho, which improved to 11-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play Friday with an 83-64 win over Oregon Tech. The game is scheduled to get going at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Women's Basketball

At La Grande, the top shooting team in the Cascade Conference got into rhythm early and the Southern Oregon University women were never able to interrupt it Friday night at Quinn Coliseum.

Eastern Oregon, the defending CCC champion, stopped the 17th-ranked Raiders' win streak at eight games with a 102-78 win behind senior guard Brittney Newcomb's 30 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.

The Mountaineers (11-4 overall, 3-0 CCC) hit four of their first five 3-pointers to take a 27-14 lead eight minutes into the game. Their ninth 3, knocked down by Newcomb, made the score 63-42 at halftime. EOU only hit one more triple in the second half but finished 36-for-68 from the field.

An SOU opponent hadn't scored that many points since Northwest's 122 in the first round of the 2004 conference tournament. The Raiders dropped to 12-2 overall and 2-1 in the CCC.

Kristen Schoenherr had one of her most well-rounded efforts of the year in the loss, recording 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Carly Meister added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Cambie Edwards chipped in 12 points and Allison Gida had 11.

Nicole Redd had 19 points and four assists to help EOU's cause. Nicole Redd and Nyesha Joseph added 12 points apiece.

The Mountaineers have won 23 straight conference games dating back to the 2011-12 season.


Even without a couple of usual stalwarts in the lineup, the seventh-ranked Southern Oregon University wrestling team was unmoved Friday night by Simon Fraser.

The Raiders had few problems for the second straight night in a 28-9 win at Bob Riehm Arena despite the absences of top-ranked Brock Gutches and fifth-ranked Jacob Abrams.

Trevor Hancock's thrilling comeback at 133 pounds gave the Raiders their first win of the night and started a string of four straight. Hancock notched a takedown to tie his match right before the third-round buzzer, then had another buzzer-beating takedown in overtime to top Sukhan Chahal, 8-6.

Johnathon Gay followed with a 15-6 major decision against Dhillon Hume at 141 pounds, Tyler Cowger (149) pinned Brendan Seppala in 1:45, and Rhett Reed (157) finished the run with a dominant 14-1 win over Josh Punzo.

Top-ranked Taylor Johnson (197) impressed in his second bout, wrapping up a technical fall at the start of the second round against Ryan Yewchin. Clayton Burtis picked up his second decision in as many nights at heavyweight, and Tucker Van Matre (184) filled in nicely for Abrams with a 7-0 shutout of Josh Kim.

SOU, which defeated ninth-ranked Simpson 42-3 on Thursday, upped its dual record to 3-2.

"I thought we wrestled pretty well, and it was nice to see where we're at after some time off," SOU coach Mike Ritchey said. "I think we've improved since the Montana trip, so that's a good sign, and we've got some good young kids doing some nice things."

Skylor Davis, the second-ranked 125-pounder at the NCAA Division II level, claimed a decision for Simon Fraser along with Brock Lamb (165) and Reid Watkins (174).

Earlier in the night, Southern Oregon took down Clackamas Community College in an exhibition, 24-16.

The Raiders will make their annual trip to the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday.

"We'll find out what our real weaknesses are there, then come home and readjust," Ritchey said. "That'll be a chance for a lot of us to see how the (NCAA) Division I guys do it."

Raider Scholars

The NAIA announced its last batch of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes on Friday morning, bringing Southern Oregon University's number of representatives from its fall sports to 11.

In order to be nominated, one must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 and junior academic status.

The Raider cross country team led all sports with five winners: Eric Ghelfi, Rebecca Lupescu, Dylan Paulk , Alexandra Rudd and Tyler VanDyke. Heston Altenbach, Daniel Breaux and Trevor Kuyper of the SOU football team were honored, Sam Boehnke and Brookelynn Cole represented the volleyball team, and Sydney Paulsen was among the women's soccer honorees.

Kuyper, Paulk, Paulsen and Rudd have been on the list the last two years.

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