KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – No.2 nationally ranked Oregon Tech (11-2, 1-2 CCC) faced an upset on Friday night at Danny Miles Court as No.5 ranked College of Idaho (3-0 CCC, 10-3) fought their way out of a 13-point first half deficit to win 77-65, dealing Tech their second loss of the season as well as their second loss in conference play.
“Kudos to College of Idaho,” said OIT Head Coach Justin Parnell. “They are very good and played extremely hard and together tonight. I thought we defended really well but could not come up with a defensive rebound in the second half. I also thought we panicked offensively and had some very poor possessions that led to quick or rushed shots. We have to get a lot tougher real quick because Eastern will be here tomorrow and they are the best offensive team in the country. We need to get our edge back.”
Junior Scotty Burge and sophomore Matt Van Tassell opened up the game with back-to-back three-pointers to put give the Owls the early lead. OIT used a 12-3 run as they took a 12-point advantage just seven minutes into the half, but the buffer didn’t help much.
The Yotes trailed until the final five minutes of the first stanza, when they held Tech without a goal as they blasted out 17 points, moving from a 12-point deficit to a five-point lead. A final basket from junior Mitchell Fink sent College of Idaho to the locker room with only a three-point advantage, 38-35.
The second half went back and forth as the two powerful teams battled for dominance. A 9-3 run from C of I put them up nine before a 10-3 Tech run dropped the advantage to only two points.
However, the Owls were unable to turn the tide as a 9-0 run from the Yotes brought the visitors to their largest lead yet. Fink, Burge, and Van Tassell each contributed a three-pointer to a 10-4 run, but that effort too was erased with an 11-2 Idaho run.
Nate Bruneel and Connor Desaulniers led College of Idaho with 17 points and six rebounds each to lead the team. Ricardo Time followed with 11 points and landed 3-of-6 from long range, contributing to a 50% average from the team, who downed 11 of 22 three pointers.
Fink led Tech with a game high 19 points and seven assists. Sophomore Lachlan McKimm and Van Tassell followed with 10 points each. Van Tassell also made 2-of-4 from long range and grabbed seven boards.
The Hustlin’ Owls will continue conference play with a game against Eastern Oregon Saturday night at 7:30pm. During the weekend, all students from kindergarten through 12th grade will get free admission to all games.