ASHLAND — Southern Oregon got a momentous lift from its bench for the second night in a row but held its collective breath in the final moments of a 69-67 win against Warner Pacific on Saturday night at Lithia Motors Pavilion.
WPU senior Collin Malcolm, an Ashland High product, had his most enjoyable homecoming yet against the Raiders with game-highs of 28 points and 11 rebounds. His final attempt in the 11-for-17 outing, though, was the potential game-winning 3-pointer — a step-back from the top of the key with two seconds left that rimmed out and led to Khiry Williams’ missed follow at the buzzer.
The Raiders, who threw away an inbounds pass with five seconds left to create the opportunity, hung on to win their fourth in a row and improve to 17-7 overall and 7-6 in the Cascade Conference. SOU swept the regular-season series with the Knights (13-9, 5-7) for the fourth straight season.
The Raiders had Aaron Borich (12 points, 4 assists), Tate Hoffman (11 points, 8 rebounds) and Matt Boudreaux (8 points) to thank. The trio of reserves accounted for 23 second-half points and seven of SOU’s 10 3-pointers on a night when they shot 24 percent from the field (8 of 33) in the first half and 60 (15 of 25) in the second. SOU amassed a 38-12 advantage in bench points in the game and 75-29 on the weekend.
The night also included a milestone for junior forward Jordan Hunt, who needed one point to become the 22nd player in team history with 1,000 career points and came up with a team-high 13 to go with eight boards.
After cutting a nine-point deficit to 27-25 by halftime, the Raiders were down 42-37 with 13 minutes to go.
That’s when Borich went on a personal 10-0 run, starting it when Tristen Holmes found him cutting to the basket for a layup before following up with a 3-pointer in the corner to tie the game. On SOU’s next possession, he pulled from a few feet behind the 3-point line to give the Raiders their first lead, and Boudreaux found him on a fastbreak 30 seconds later to make it 47-42.
Hoffman also came up big down the stretch, hitting back-to-back triples to put the Raiders up 60-52 with 5:27 to go.
Their failure to put the game away was the result of two split trips to the free-throw line in the final minute and a ball thrown over Hoffman’s head and out of bounds while inbounding from the sideline in backcourt with five seconds to go.
Despite the missed final attempts, Malcolm and Williams (16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) carried the Knights and gave them a 44-26 edge on points in the paint.
SOU 85, WARNER PACIFIC 71: At Ashland, the Cascade Conference’s top scoring defense couldn’t extend far enough to stop the Southern Oregon University women’s basketball team at Lithia Motors Pavilion.
The 24th-ranked Raiders took an 85-71 victory from Warner Pacific, which entering the night was allowing 61 points per game in conference play. SOU (16-5 overall, 12-3 CCC) hung 31 points on the Knights (12-8, 8-6) in the first quarter and led by as many as 21 in the opening minutes of the second, shooting 10-for-20 from 3-point range in the first half to run away with its eighth win in nine games.
Daranda Hinkey ran the show with 14 points, nine assists and four rebounds, shooting 4 of 7 from outside. Ariel Augustine hit four more 3-pointers on her way to 16 points, and Syd Fryer totaled a game-high 17 points with a 3-for-5 3-point shooting display.
It was the seventh time in nine January games that the Raiders made at least 10 triples.
Hinkey’s assist total was a career-high. She recorded four of them on 3-point makes in the first quarter, when the Raiders hit 7 of 9 from downtown.
SOU’s Dominique Harding contributed 10 points, six assists and four steals, and Destinee Jones had eight points and six rebounds.
SOU SWEPT: At Ashland, the Southern Oregon University wrestling teams dropped both ends of a combined dual on Saturday against Warner Pacific, 37-18 in men’s action and 18-1 on the women’s side at Bob Riehm Arena.
Justin Coon provided a bright spot for the Raiders, however, in his collegiate debut. At 133 pounds, the freshman from Tillamook pinned Connor Finch in 2 minutes, 50 seconds to give SOU its first points, and later in an exhibition match pinned Alex Ursua in 3:39.
Tanner Fischer, SOU’s fourth-ranked 197-pounder, improved to 17-4 overall and 9-1 in dual matches with a tidy win by fall over Alvaro Venegas in 47 seconds. SOU’s other points arrived via CJ McKinnis’ forfeit victory at 184.
There were two contests in the women’s dual: WPU’s Kaitlyn Funai (123) pinned Kirra Saunders in 1:30, and Zion-Grace Vierra (155) took an 8-1 decision against Veronica Coppolino. Coppolino later picked up a 7-0 exhibition victory over Kailee Doak.
The Raider men dropped to 4-6 in duals, while the Raider women moved to 8-7.