Southern Oregon Downs Bearcats at Flagship Inn Invitational, 95-81

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

ASHLAND, ORE. -- Southern Oregon University connected on 19 of 30 shots (63.3%) in the second half, as the Raiders defeated Willamette University, 95-81, at the Flagship Inn Invitational on Saturday, Nov. 28. In Saturday's first game, Oregon Institute of Technology prevailed over William Jessup University, 72-51.

SOU improved to 7-1 overall, while Willamette fell to 1-3. The Raiders and Oregon Tech both finished 2-0 in the tournament. WU and William Jessup each went 0-2.

Willamette surged out to a 9-2 advantage in the first 4:22 of the game. Marcus Holmes (Jr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) sank two three-pointers during the opening run. He finished the game with a team-high 18 points in 23 minutes played.

The teams alternated short scoring runs over the next six minutes, as WU's lead rose and fell between eight points and two points. Southern Oregon eventually tied the score at 21-21, on a layup by Humphrey Jackson with 8:58 to go in the half.

There were six more ties before halftime, as WU repeatedly took a two-point lead, only to have SOU score the next two points for another deadlock. The final tie of the period was at 32-32 following a layup by Southern's Chris Machovjak with 2:56 on the clock.

SOU added eight more points for a 10-point run and a 40-32 lead. Ryan Meehan (So., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) of Willamette cut the lead to five points by hitting a free throw, rebounding his own missed shot on the second free throw, and putting the ball back into the hoop at the 30-second mark.

Ryan Staker scored on a dunk for the Raiders with one second left in the half. SOU owned a 42-35 edge at the break.

The Raiders added a layup by Justonn Smith to open the second half, but WU responded with a 9-2 run to pull within 46-44 with 17:21 remaining. Cameron Mitchell (Sr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) tallied back-to-back layups for Willamette to complete the run.

Southern took a seven-point lead, 53-46, with 14:48 left on a 3-pointer by Jackson. Another surge by the Bearcats, this time six unanswered points, cut the lead to one, 53-52, following a layup by Holmes.

From there, the Raiders gradually took charge of the game. They used a 12-3 run to claim a 65-55 advantage with 11:06 to go. The lead increased to 75-59 with 8:56 on the clock and to 87-64 with 5:39 remaining. WU closed the game by scoring 17 of the final 25 points.

Jackson led Southern's offense with 19 points. He also grabbed six rebounds, earned three assists and had two steals. Machovjak tacked on 18 points and seven boards, while Smith provided SOU with 13 points and six boards. Also reaching double figures for the Raiders were Roland Johnson with 12 points and Staker with 11.

Holmes' 18 points topped Willamette. He was followed by Mitchell with 14 points, Taylor Mounts (So., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) with 13 and Terrell Malley (Fr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) with 10.

Mitchell and Mounts tied for game-high rebounding honors with 10 apiece. Even so, SOU achieved a 52-43 rebounding margin.

Southern shot 40.0% in the first half (16 of 40), then made three more shots on 10 fewer attempts in the second half (19 of 30, 63.3%). The Raiders were 35 of 70 overall (50.0%).

Willamette connected on 33.3% of its field goals during the game (25 of 75). The Bearcats converted 25 of 31 free throws (80.6%).

WU will return to action next week at the Lee Fulmer Tournament at the University of Redlands. The Bearcats will open the event against California Lutheran University on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m. (PST). Opponents and game times for Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5 will not be determined until all games are completed each day.

Southern Oregon Univrsity 95
Willamette University 81
(Flagship Inn Invitational at Southern Oregon University)
Marcus Holmes scored 18 points, as he reached double digits for the third game in a row.

Marcus Holmes scored 18 points, as he reached double digits for the third game in a row.