Corban's Monique Tribble, right, defends as SOU's Jacki Speer goes to the basket on Tuesday.

SOU holds off Corban rally

ASHLAND — Southern Oregon's comfortable 13-point lead was cut to just four with 2 minutes, 25 seconds to go.

In other words, the Raiders were just playing their game.

"You know what, this is kind of our team," SOU head coach Lynn Kennedy said. "We've had issues with that all year and we're learning, but at no time do we ever panic. We've never panicked in any game. We find ways to win and keep our composure."

They did it again this time and earned some sweet revenge in the process, holding off the pesky Corban Warriors for a 77-71 victory in the quarterfinals of the Cascade Collegiate Conference women's basketball tournament Tuesday night at McNeal Pavilion.

The win advances the 22nd-ranked Raiders (25-5) to Friday's semifinal round, where they will play 14th-ranked College of Idaho (28-3) at Caldwell, Idaho. The Coyotes advanced with a 63-41 win over Oregon Tech.

Corban (12-17), which snapped SOU's 12-game winning streak last Friday in Salem, fell behind by 16 points in the second half and trailed 62-49 with 6:50 to go. The deficit was still 11 points with 3:17 left, but former North Medford star Kailey Bostwick drilled a 3-pointer to spark the Warriors' last-gasp rally.

Corban cut the lead to 70-66 and were in position to get closer when Jennesa Miller went to the free throw line with 1:56 to go. But she missed both free throws and the Raiders scored the next five points, including a door-slamming jumper by Whitney Scott with 53 seconds left.

"It's a game of runs, I guess," said Scott, who had 11 points, six assists and four rebounds. "I wish we could have just kept our lead — that would have been nice. But, what are you going to do? They're a good team, they're going to push hard. Hopefully we'll get well rested and get ready for C of I."

Scott was one of five Raiders who scored in double figures, led by Rhinnon Dickison, who hit 4-of-5 3-pointers in the first half on her way to a game-high 23 points. SOU also got another double-double out of Jacki Speer — 13 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks — while Ashley Baker had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Emily Brookins 13 points and six boards.

Katie Steigleman hit 8 of 21 shots on her way to a team-high 21 points and 10 rebounds for Corban. Bostwick also chewed up the Raider defense, hitting 5 of 9 3-pointers on her way to 20 points. The rest of the Warriors' lineup struggled, however, and Corban shot just 38 percent (26-for-69).

"We didn't shoot the ball well enough in the first half," Corban coach Terry Williams said. "You've got to shoot the ball well against a good team."

It helps to be able to defend the pick-and-roll, too, and that's another area in which the Warriors struggled. The Raiders didn't shoot the lights out (41 percent), but turned high screens into layups on nearly every crucial possession.

On the most critical defensive breakdown, Scott dribbled into the lane before sinking a fall-away to give the Raiders a 73-66 lead.

"I think we just needed to get stops on defense and that's what we weren't doing," Bostwick said. "We needed to stop Speer, we needed to stop the 3, and that's one of the things that we did when we played them at our place — we sucked it up defensively."

The longtime rivals played to a virtual stalemate through the first 17 minutes before the Raiders closed the first half on a 10-2 run to take a 37-25 lead into the break. Dickison had five points and a steal in the rally, capping an 18-point first half that featured her specialty — rainbow 3s taken from well beyond the arc.

"You keep telling your players, 'You've got to defend players, not the 3-point line,'" Williams said. "Too many times players, mentally, they get to the 3-point line and they think they have it covered. But with Dickison, you've got to go past the 3-point line to cover her. When she hits a couple of those, that plays on you mentally. She's a terrific player."

The Raiders continued that surge in the second half, which began with another Dickison 3. They led by as many as 16 points before Corban's charge.

A similar letdown could spell doom for the Raiders against the high-scoring Coyotes, who haven't lost at home since SOU's 75-69 victory on Jan. 30.

"That's a tough atmosphere," Scott said. "But we beat them over there once and we can definitely do it again."

CORBAN (12-17)

Steigleman 8-21 1-4 21, Bostwick 6-15 3-5 20, Miller 4-12 4-8 12, Reimer 2-4 2-2 6, Buhler 2-11 0-0 4, Tribble 2-2 0-0 4, Hansen 1-1 0-0 2, Connell 1-3 0-0 2, Jensen 0-0 0-0 0, Shaughnessy 0-0 0-0 0, Lyon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-69 10-19 71.


Dickison 7-14 4-4 23, Speer 5-12 3-11 13, Brookins 4-10 4-4 13, Baker 5-10 1-1 11, Scott 5-14 1-3 11, Scheffler 1-3 3-5 5, Smith 0-2 1-4 1, Wood 0-1 0-0 0, Nakamura 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-66 17-32 77.

Halftime — Southern Oregon 37, Corban 25. 3-point goals — Corban 9-23 (Bostwick 5-9, Steigleman 4-10, Buhler 0-3, Connell 0-1), Southern Oregon University 6-17 (Dickison 5-9, Brookins 1-3, Scott 0-4, Wood 0-1). Fouled out — Tribble, Reimer. Rebounds — Corban 51 (Steigleman 10, Connell 10), Southern Oregon 46 (Speer 17). Assists — Corban 17 (Connell 5), Southern Oregon 10 (Scott 6). Total fouls — Corban 26, Southern Oregon University 13. A-598.

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