Seeking to soar to a much a needed victory, the Oregon Tech Owls were instead sent crashing to earth by the Raiders in a stunning 85-54 bloodbath, one of the last games in the Division II Women’s Basketball season. From the opening bell the Owls struggled to gain any momentum, and were quickly overwhelmed by SOU’s offensive and quick-break ability. The SOU women’s team is widely considered to be one of the fastest offensive groups in the entire division.
Alex Smith and Ashley Claussen led the way for the Raiders, with 22 and 17 points respectively. Claussen’s five three-pointers were instrumental in keeping SOU ahead of the Owls in their one attempt to keep the game close in the first quarter. After that scare it was all Raiders, as the Owls fell further and further behind. The Owls players looked more and more dejected as the massacre continued, and as they watched a potential winning season slip out of their grasp. Instead they face another season effort that will likely fall short of the playoffs. The Raiders on the other hand, with the aid of the season sweep of the Owls, stand at 23-3 overall and will certainly enter the playoffs with fresh momentum, as they are only one game out from first with only one game of regular season play left.
The Owls were led by the very capable Karissa Harbick and Tess Armstrong with 11 points each. However, the two were not able to lift their faltering teammates. By the end of the game the Owls had committed an astonishing 21 turnovers, and only shot 36 percent from the field
Local Ashland resident and SOU student Ryan Ashe, a self-described “super fan” declared the win “historic” and explained, with a huge grin, that “it’s just awesome man…I mean as a fan you sweat and bleed with these girls all year long…I’m close to tears after this one, best moment of my life.” Mr. Ashe has become a fixture of local sports teams, often seen sprinting up and down the sidelines, yelling at the top of his lungs and flailing his arms, his blond hair flopping up and down, his face beet red as he wills his schoolmates to victory. It has been a good year for Mr. Ashe and his fellow “cheerleaders” as SOU teams have excelled across the board. The win Saturday represents the women’s team’s sixth straight and eleventh of the last 12. Saturday’s women’s basketball romp over Oregon Tech puts them in a good positions for the coming playoffs, and is just more proof of the excellence of this team.