Southern Oregon pulled within three points with less than a minute to play, but No. 8 Warner Pacific held on for a 65-61 Cascade Collegiate Conference men’s basketball victory Friday night.
The loss drops Southern Oregon’s record to 14-9 overall and 7-5 in conference play, while Warner Pacific improves to 18-4 overall and 10-1 in the CCC. The Raiders return to action Saturday night, when they will face Concordia in a 7:30 p.m. game at Cavalier Gymnasium.
Jordan Highland led all scorers with 22 points and added 10 rebounds to post a double-double for SOU. Sam Osofsky added 12 points and Eric Thompson finished with 11 in less than 22 minutes of play as he battled foul trouble throughout the contest.
Stephen Harris scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting for Warner Pacific and grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds. William Sharp and Sean Gaines each added 15 points in the win for the Knights.
Warner Pacific scored the first six points and 10 of the first 11 in the game, but a pair of Taylor Roos free throws triggered an 11-0 SOU run that gave the Raiders a brief 12-10 lead. The Knights eventually built the lead back up to a game-high 11 points when Harris’ bucket made it 35-24 with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. Southern Oregon closed the half on a six-point streak to go into the break down five at 35-30.
The Raiders quickly pulled within two points in the second half as Highland hit a three-pointer to make it 37-35, but WPC slowly built on its slim lead until the Sharp hit a three-pointer to make it 58-49 with less than four minutes to play.
Thompson responded with a three-pointer for the Raiders, and Highland pulled the Raiders within three with 59 seconds remaining when he hit his fourth shot of the game from beyond the arc. Almost 30 seconds later Doug Thomas made a well-defended three to clinch the win for Warner Pacific, as the Raiders could not pull closer than four back in the final seconds.
Southern Oregon struggled from the field, connecting on only 38 percent (19-of-50) of its shots in the game, while Warner Pacific made 40.7 percent (24-of-59). The Knights out-rebounded the Raiders 42-to-33 to earn the season split after SOU handed Warner Pacific its only conference loss of the 2011-12 season last month in Ashland.