ASHLAND — Another stout defensive performance paved the way for 13th-ranked Southern Oregon’s 92-56 rout of Simpson (Calif.) on Monday night at Lithia Motors Pavilion, making the Raiders 10-3 after their final nonconference game of the regular season.
Senior guard Tristen Holmes put up 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and junior post Jordan Hunt checked in with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four of SOU’s 15 blocked shots — the team’s highest block total in more than a decade.
Tate Hoffman added 14 points, six rebounds, three blocks, two steals and a pair of 3-pointers.
Prior to the night, the Raiders’ highest block total of the season was seven. They hadn’t even reached double figures since the 2013-14 season.
The pressure applied inside and out resulted in a 27-percent clip from the field for Simpson (6-4), including an ugly 1 of 22 showing from behind the 3-point arc.
Simpson was the third opponent SOU has held below 30 percent this season. The Raiders entered the night ranked fourth nationally in opponents’ field-goal percentage (37.6).
Hoffman’s 3-pointer six seconds before halftime gave them a 41-28 lead. Within the first four minutes of the second half, the lead was 53-32 following a 10-0 run spurred by five points apiece from Holmes and Hunt.
Kaj Bansen contributed eight points off the bench, going 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and Kiefer Edwards added seven. The Raiders shot 49 percent from the field (35-of-72) in improving to 36-1 all-time against the Redhawks.
Jalen Cooper and Blake Trent had 14 points each for Simpson.
The Raiders will remain home for Cascade Conference play this weekend, Friday against Northwest (Wash.) and Saturday against Evergreen (Wash.). Both games tip off at 7:30 p.m.
RAIDERS HONORED: Ten Southern Oregon University soccer players — five men and five women — have been selected to the All-West Region teams and the Raider men’s coaches were named the NAIA West Region staff of the year by the United Soccer Coaches organization.
Along with first-year head coach Davie Carmichael, the men’s coaching staff also included assistants Avneet Shergill, Paul Coffelt, Logan Guler and Sean McManamon. It guided the Raiders to a Cascade Conference championship and the NAIA round of 16, and has been moved forward to the ballot for national staff of the year, which will be announced Friday.
The Raider men took up five of 12 spots on the All-West Region first team with Noah Addie, Gonzalo Garcia, Michael Miller, Zak Woolley and Wyatt Zabinski all recognized.
Addie, a forward, was the team’s top scorer and established a new SOU freshman points record with 10 goals and one assist, including three game-winning goals. Garcia, Miller, Woolley and Zabinski formed a defense that had the fourth-most shutouts in the NAIA (15). Miller was voted the Cascade Conference co-defensive player of the year, while Zabinski topped the CCC in save percentage (.847) and was No. 2 on the national leaderboard in average goals allowed (0.47).
On the women’s side, Daisy Cervantes and Kailey Lemon received All-West Region first-team recognition and Trinity Rhoades, Maddy Spangler and Makena Totushek were selected to the second team.
In a 9-5-3 season, Cervantes, Rhoades and Spangler were all key defenders and who helped the Raiders give up just 0.82 goals per game. Lemon was the team’s primary keeper and posted a save percentage of .855 that ranked second in the CCC in her first year with the team. Totushek — who was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District team selection — had four goals and four assists from midfield and finished her career with 11 goals and nine assists.