Whitney Scott and Southern Oregon host Corban tonight in the opener of the Cascade Conference Tournament.

Raider women ready for postseason run

ASHLAND — Winners in 13 of its last 14 games, the 22nd-ranked Southern Oregon women's basketball team opens Cascade Conference Tournament play tonight by hosting Corban at 7:30 p.m. at McNeal Pavilion.

The Raiders (24-5) dropped from 19th to 22nd in this week's NAIA Top 25 poll after falling to Corban last Friday and then upsetting No. 8 Concordia on Saturday night.

SOU enters the tourney as the No. 3 seed, while Corban (12-16) comes in as the No. 6 seed.

The Raiders knocked off the Warriors 93-74 in early January, while the Warriors recorded an 86-79 victory Friday night.

"Corban did a great job and came out and played one of their better games of the year," SOU coach Lynn Kennedy said. "They were playing for a spot in the (conference) tournament and a higher seeding and were ready to play the game. We didn't match their intensity and it ended up being the difference."

Kailey Bostwick had 22 points, seven assists and four steals in Corban's win. She made six 3-pointers.

"Kailey was hitting her shots," Kennedy said. "We are going to have to control their guard play. The game is going to come down to defense."

Defense will also play a key for the Warriors. In the two games against Corban this year, SOU's Whitney Scott (18.5 points per game), Rhiannon Dickison (18.0) and Jacki Speer (16.5) are all averaging more than 16 points. Scott and Dickison have combined to make 13 3-pointers, while Speer is averaging 11.5 rebounds.

The conference tournament will also play a big role in SOU's hopes of a return trip to the NAIA National Tournament.

The conference has two automatic berths.

Regular season champion Concordia received one of those berths, and the other one goes to the team that wins the conference tournament. If Concordia wins the tournament, the second-place team gets the berth.

The Raiders can also make the National Tournament by being ranked high enough to receive one of 11 at-large berths given out.

The other first round matchups include eighth-seeded Northwest traveling to 11th-ranked and top-seeded Concordia, seventh-seeded Oregon Tech at 14th-ranked and second-seeded College of Idaho and fifth-seeded Warner Pacific at fourth-seeded Eastern Oregon.

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