SOU rally falls short against Warner Pacific

ASHLAND — Southern Oregon battled back from a 16-point second-half deficit, but Warner Pacific held on for a 73-67 Cascade Conference women's basketball victory Friday at Bob Riehm Arena.

Warner Pacific's Kelsey Mattsen hit her first seven shots and finished with 20 points to lead all scorers, with Chelsey Christensen adding 18 points and five assists. Katie Smith tallied 10 points and eight assists.

For SOU (10-7, 1-5 CC), Haley Newell finished with 15 points and Angelica Cahee added 10.

Warner Pacific shot 68 percent (17-for-25) in the first half as the Knights built a 10-point halftime lead. They led by as many as 16 points in the half, but the Raiders used a 7-1 run to go into the break at 41-31.

Warner Pacific (9-7, 3-2) came out strong in the second half and pushed the lead back to 16 points at 59-43 and again at 61-45 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Newell knocked down a pair of free throws to start an 11-point SOU streak that pulled the Raiders within five on a RaTanya Newsome 3-pointer with 7:10 to play.

The Knights picked up a pair of free throws from Cameryn Calhoun, and Christensen hit a jumper to put the visitors back up by nine, but SOU scored the next seven points and Newell's trey made it 65-63 with 3:14 to go.

The teams exchanged baskets down the stretch, with Christensen making a pair of shots in the final minutes to keep SOU from tying the game, and Calhoun iced it with a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left.

Warner Pacific shot 58 percent (29-for-50), while Southern Oregon finished with a 31.4 shooting percentage (22 of 70). The Raiders outrebounded the Knights 42-36 and forced 21 turnovers.

SOU returns to action Jan. 7, when they host Oregon Tech in a conference game at 5:30 p.m.

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