Southern Oregon scored the first 12 points of the game and withstood a second-half Concordia rally as the Raiders defeated the Cavaliers 68-61 in Cascade Collegiate Conference men’s basketball action Saturday night at Cavalier Gymnasium.
Eric Thompson finished with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting and added seven rebounds for the Raiders. Thompson was the only Raider to reach double-figures as seven other SOU players scored points in the game.
Anthony Holton led Concordia with 22 points, and added five rebounds. Drew Preuninger hit five three-pointers and totaled 17 points and seven rebounds for the Cavaliers, and Adam Herman finished with 13 points in the loss.
The win improves Southern Oregon’s record to 15-9 overall and 8-5 in conference play, while Concordia falls to 13-10 overall and 5-7 in conference play. Southern Oregon returns to action Feb. 4, when the Raiders will travel to Klamath Falls for a rivalry matchup with No. 1 Oregon Tech at 7:30 p.m.
Highland opened the scoring for the Raiders in the first half as the Raiders took a 12-0 lead before Holton scored Concordia’s first points more than three minutes into the game. Southern Oregon held a double-digit lead for almost the entire first half, with SOU’s biggest lead a 15-point advantage at 39-24 one minute before halftime. Concordia scored the next five points, but Dex Daum closed the half with a three-pointer to give the Raiders a 42-29 halftime lead.
Concordia scored the first four points out of the break to pull within nine, but SOU scored the next eight points to take a 50-33 lead five minutes into the second half. The Cavaliers battled back, using an 18-6 run to pull within five points following a pair of Kevan West free throws with 8:28 to play.
Thompson responded with a jumper for the Raiders to end the CU run, but the Cavaliers remained close the rest of the way. Preuninger hit a three-pointer with 26 seconds remaining to make it 65-59 and Adam Herman made a pair of free throws to pull within four in the closing seconds, but the Cavs picked up an intentional foul and a pair of Kyle Tedder free throws clinched the road victory.
Southern Oregon shot 52 percent (26-of-50) for the game, while limiting Concordia to 36 percent (19-of-53). The Cavaliers entered the weekend ranked second in the NAIA with a 52.8 season shooting percentage. Herman led the NAIA in shooting percentage at over 70 percent entering the weekend, and the Raiders held the CU sophomore to 3-of-9 shooting in the game.