ASHLAND – With Bob Riehm Arena packed to capacity, the Southern Oregon men’s basketball team claimed its third win of the season over archrival Oregon Tech, knocking off the Owls 72-53 in Cascade Collegiate Conference action Saturday night.
A raucous crowd of more than 1,400 filled the Raiders’ gymnasium to standing-room-only levels to witness a historic win for the SOU men’s program. Southern Oregon claimed three wins over Oregon Tech in the same season for the first time since 1999 and likely clinched SOU’s first season sweep over the Owls since 1972. The win also marked the 241st for head coach Brian McDermott at SOU, tying the program record set by coach Ted Schopf, who presided over the SOU program from 1947-65.
Southern Oregon improved to 18-8 overall and 9-5 in conference play with the win, while Oregon Tech fell to 13-13 overall and 4-10 in the CCC. Both teams travel to Washington for next weekend’s conference matchups, with the Raiders visiting Northwest on Friday while the Owls take on Evergreen at 7:30 p.m.
Eric Thompson and Kyle Tedder tied for the SOU team lead in points with 13 apiece as 11 different Raiders scored in the game. Kyle Waits’ 14 points led the way for Oregon Tech, with David Clarke tallying 12 in the loss. Southern Oregon connected on 53.8 percent of its shots (28-of-52) while limiting OIT to 35.7 percent shooting (20-of-56), including 6-of-27 from beyond the three-point arc.
Tedder hit a three-pointer on the opening possession and the Raiders never looked back. After a Derek Evans layup put the Owls on the board, Thompson made a jumper and Tim Weber dropped a three to put SOU up 10-2 less than three minutes into the game. Oregon Tech never pulled closer than five back after that.
The Raiders took their first double-digit lead when Jordan West knocked down a three to put SOU up 19-9 before the first media timeout. A couple minutes later the Raider advantage reached double figures for good.
Oregon Tech scored the final five points of the first half, with a Waits three-pointer beating the buzzer to make it 39-27 at the break. The Owls quickly pulled within 10 early in the second period, but another Tedder trey ended the run. Midway through the second half a dunk by Tedder sparked an 11-point SOU run that took the Raiders’ lead to a game-high 24 points with 6:43 to play. Evan’s bucket in the final seconds pulled the Owls to within 19 in the final scoring margin.
Southern Oregon sweeps the regular-season series against its archrival with the win, although a conference tournament matchup between the teams is still possible. The Raiders knocked off then-No. 2 Oregon Tech 76-60 on Nov. 20 in Ashland and defeated the Owls 74-63 in Klamath Falls on Jan. 5. They are currently in line for the third seed in the CCC Tournament, with Oregon Tech lined up for the seventh seed.