ASHLAND, Ore. – With five seconds left on the clock, Southern Oregon University’s Aaron Borich scored a layup that sent the No. 15 ranked Raiders past No. 5 ranked Oregon Tech in the first – and last – lead change of the game, dropping the Owls 77-76 after overcoming a 17-point deficit and career high scoring from senior Seth Erickson.(No.23 Pictured above)
“Our guys were outstanding tonight,” said OIT head coach Justin Parnell. “We competed, play confident and executed the game plan as well as we have all season. The only thing we didn’t do was rebound and that really hurt us. Really proud of our effort on the road- we played like champions.”
The game opened up in favor of the Hustlin’ Owls with Erickson leading the way. A 14-0 run blew open the first half and featured three long range baskets from Erickson and a fourth from junior Scotty Burge.
Southern Oregon was able to recover some of that deficit with a 10-3 run after four minutes without a score, but then Oregon Tech countered 17-6 to reach their largest lead of 17-points, sending the Raiders far behind once more.
The Southern team went 9-for-2 near the end of the half, but still ended with a 12-point deficit as the Owls landed 8-of-12 from behind the arc in the first alone.
Tech built their lead further in the beginning of the second, but SOU came into the match with renewed energy, kicking into gear offensively and riding a 19-5 run to cut the deficit from 17 to only three. Tez Allen led the effort, scoring nine in the run.
The Hustlin’ Owls fought hard, holding onto the lead by a small margin for much of the half, but Borich’s final layup upset the score and a final layup attempt by sophomore Matt Van Tassell was blocked by Tate Hoffman.
Erickson scored 14-of-21 on the night – including 6-of-9 from behind the arc – to score a career high 36 points, leading both teams. Senior Mitchell Fink and junior Harrison Steiger followed up with 14 points each. Fink also added eight assists and five rebounds.
Hoffman and Borich led the Raiders with 16 points each, with Borich also adding five assists and Hoffman making three blocks. Teron Bradford tallied another 14 points and eight boards and Allen scored 10, made eight rebounds, and grabbed seven steals.
Southern Oregon out-rebounded the No. 1 team in total rebound margin 43-34 and forced 14 turnovers. The team also earned 16 second chance points off of 25 defensive rebounds.
Tech led 13-10 assisting and held a 47.4% average from long range. However, the team struggled from the bench (15-8 SOU) and in the paint (42-22 SOU).
The Hustlin’ Owls will be back in action this weekend when they take on Northwest Christian University and Corban University on Friday and Saturday, respectively, with both games taking place at 7:30 pm at Danny Miles Court