ASHLAND, Ore. — In front of a packed Lithia Motors Pavilion, Oregon Tech won the third going over arch-rival Southern Oregon, 70-65 Saturday night to advance to the Cascade Conference finals.
Once again, OIT's Seth Erickson had a huge night against the Raiders and this time it ended in a Hustlin' Owl victory. The senior scored a game-high 21 points against SOU, with eight of those points coming in the final four minutes. In the teams' first meeting back in January, the Salem-native dropped 36 points in a last-second loss to Southern Oregon (Erickson missed the second meeting with a hand injury).
Southern Oregon jumped out to an early lead, leading by eight after the first five minutes of play. But Oregon Tech fought their way back into the lead and took a six-point advantage into the half, thanks in part to the Raiders going 0-10 from beyond the arc.
The Raiders were slow out of the gate in the second half, trailing by as many as 13 before finding their rhythm. Jordan Hunt led the charge with 10 second-half points and SOU as a whole were much more successful from three-point range, making five of 12 attempts.
With the win, Oregon Tech takes the season series lead at 2-1 and advances to the CCC Finals against No. 1 College of Idaho on Tuesday. The Yotes went undefeated in conference play and will host their third straight conference tournament final. The game will start at 7 pm in Caldwell, Idaho.
Oregon Tech Head Coach Justin Parnell also earned his 100th win with the Owls.