Photo by Jenna Murphy/The Siskiyou
Junior Eli Thornton fakes left then goes right to the hoop against Eastern Oregon last Saturday
Southern Oregon faced disappointment again at McNeal Pavilion on Saturday, losing to 10th ranked Eastern Oregon 88-76. With the combination of Fridayís loss to college of Idaho and Saturdayís loss, SOU falls to 7-17 overall and 3-11 in Cascade Conference play.
The game went back and forth for the first eight minutes, with Eastern Oregon holding on to a slim 2-point lead, 14-12. SOU struggled on the offensive end because of Eastern Oregonís full-court press but played well defensively to stay close.
While SOU continued to struggle from the field, Eastern Oregon caught fire. Dan Blanchard hit a 3 that started Eastern on a 14-2 run that pushed their lead to 14 points with five minutes to go in the half. Blanchard was a huge factor in the first half where he scored all of his 9 points.
Southern tried to stay close when Kory Mahr, who finished with a team high 17 points, hit a 3 that capped off a 10-2 run to make the score 30-24 with two minutes and 40 seconds left in the first half. But Eastern rebounded and took an 11-point lead into half-time.
Eastern Oregon continued its hot shooting and stifling defense in the second half. They started out on a 17-2 run when Mark Carollo hit from behind the arc for three of his game high 19 points and 10 rebounds, which ended any hope of an SOU second half comeback.
The story of the game was SOUís inability to continually hit shots from the outside, shooting 40 percent from the field while Eastern Oregon could do no wrong, shooting 57 percent. Four of Eastern Oregonís five starters scored in double figures. SOU had no answer, with leading scorer Matt Cowell sidelined for most of the game with a severely sprained ankle.
Trenton Fraser and Eli Thornton kept SOU within striking distance coming down the stretch, finishing with 14 and 13 points respectively. Fraser hit a 3 to pull Southern within six with one minute nine seconds remaining in the game, but thatís as close as it would get. Eastern Oregon improved to 18-4 overall and 11-3 in conference play which puts them in a first-place tie with Oregon Tech.
The Raiders continue their season with a double header next weekend when they travel to Cascade on Friday, Feb. 8 and then to Warner Pacific on Saturday, Feb 9.