Oregon Tech overcame another sluggish third-period performance, made 10-of-12 free throws in the final minute and claimed a 71-65 win over Simpson University Saturday at the Lithia Oregon Tech Classic.
Simpson came back from a 42-35 deficit midway through the third quarter and held a 52-46 lead early in the fourth period.
The Hustlin’ Owls rallied, saw a see-saw battle ensue and finally broke the last if six ties with their solid free-throw shooting in the final minute to gain the win and up their season record to 2-4.
“We needed that, emotionally,” coach Scott Meredith said.
“We wanted defensive stops and wanted to take care of the ball,” junior Amanda Constant said after a solid 26-point, seven-rebound effort which helped keep OIT in the lead in the first half.
She also made 5-of-6 free throws in the end.
Constant was 16-of-19 at the line for the game, and said she cannot remember having shot so many free throws in a single game.
“I have no answer for why (we struggle in the third period),” she said. “We are aware of that and are doing our best to adjust.”
A major adjustment for Tech was the return of Melissa Lee to the lineup, and the sophomore finished with 12 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, mostly in the fourth period.
“I just had to trust myself, and our trainers do a phenomenal job with rehabbing us,” Lee said. “I was just having fun with my teammates. It was fun to be back.”
SOUTHERN OREGON 87, CALIFORNIA MERCED 64
In what had been a see-saw battle throughout the first half, Southern Oregon made 11-of-17 field goals in the third period, including 3-of-6 from three-point range, to pull away from the Bobcats.
Dominique Harding scored 12 of her game-high 25 points in the third period, while teammate Kami Walk scored seven of her 21 points in the period to help the Raiders turn a 33-31 halftime lead into a 64-45 advantage with one quarter left to play.
In game which had been tied 11 times in the first half, with eight ties, the Raiders would open up a 29-point lead with seven minutes to play.
Syd’nee Fryer added 14 points and nine rebounds for Southern, while Harding narrowly missed a double-double with eight rebounds.
For Merced, Mia Belvin had 25 points, Haylee Owen 16 and Cierra McClain 10. Belvin also had nine rebounds.
The Bobcats were hurt when standout senior Shelby Bohlmann collapsed on the floor without contact, and eventually was taken by ambulance to Sky Lakes Medical Center for observation.
The game was delayed 15 minutes because of the injury.
■ Tech took a 5-0 lead in a game in which there were the six ties along with eight lead changes. Until the end, OIT’s biggest lead had been 42-25.
■ Simpson’s biggest lead was 53-46.
■ Constant and Courtney Clemmer both had seven OIT rebounds, while Eastyn Reeves had four assists.
■ Ruby Daube scored 13 points, Alli Ramelli 11 and Brianna Clark 10 for Simpson, which fell to 1-7, while Natalie Campos had four rebounds and Ramellli three assists.
■ OIT has one game before Thanksgiving and will host the Northwest Indian College at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.
Two shots which rimmed out, and two shots made by California Merced produced a 10-point swing Friday to help the Bobcats to a come-from-behind, 63-57, victory over Oregon Tech in the Lithia Oregon Tech Classic.
Earlier Friday in the women’s tournament, Southern Oregon played a strong second half to pull away from Simpson University, held a 15-point lead and eventually won, 77-67.
Tech had opened up a 41-29 lead midway through the third quarter when the Hustlin’ Owls had a three-point shot roll off the rim, and UCM responded with a basket.
On OIT’s next possession, a layup rolled off the basket, UCM rebounded and hit a three to turn the game around.
“We got too comfortable,” junior Abby Kreiser said. “We have to be more disciplined.”
OIT did seem disjointed, and finished the game with an uncharacteristicly high 25 turnovers.
“We have to slow down and play our game,” sophomore Courtney Clemmer said after she scored a career high 26 points, and narrowly missed a double-double effort with nine rebounds.
“They took the momentum, and we let them,” Kreiser said, “especially at home. We have had trouble coming out after halftime, and we have to figure out how to get over that hump.”
Part of the momentum UCM took came during a 13-0 run which allowed the Bobcats to turn their 42-29 deficit into a 42-41 lead.
The two teams traded leads for four possessions before UCM went ahead for good, and a 17-rebound effort in the third period was crucial to the Bobcats and their comeback.
SOUTHERN OREGON 77, SIMPSON 67
Simpson led, 30-23, in the tournament’s first game with just over a minute left in the second period.
By halftime, the Raiders had cut their deficit to 31-27. An 11-0 run in the third period thrust SOU into the lead for good, 44-35. From that point on, SOU’s smallest lead was nine points.
Daranda Hinkey led SOU with 13 points, while teammates Kami Walk and Kenadee Honaker both added 12. The Raiders had four players who were a field goal, or less, shy of double digits.
Brianna Clark had a game-high 16 points for Simpson, with teammates Whitney Armstrong and Precious Jackson both scoring 10.
■ California Merced now leads the all-time series with the OIT women, 3-0, but Friday’s win was its first at Danny Miles Court.
■ Kreiser had seven rebounds and six assists for OIT, while Kylie Meadowds had six rebounds and five points.
■ For UCM, Haylee Owen scored 20 points, and Mia Belvin 16. Marisse Jackson had 11 rebounds and eight points for the Bobcats, who now are 3-2 on the season.
■ Tech did have 17 assists on its 20 baskets