No. 1 Oregon Tech Falls to Concordia
PORTLAND, Ore.—In front of a rowdy crowd, the Concordia men's basketball team shocked Oregon Tech with an 81-66 upset win over the number one team in the country. Concordia (13-9, 5-6 CCC) held Oregon Tech (21-3, 10-2 CCC) to just 35.8 percent shooting from the floor, including 30.3 percent in the first half, while the Cavs connected on 53.8 percent of their own shots.
It started early, too, as Concordia led for all but 10 seconds of the game on Friday and led by at least 10 points for the last 7:39.
After Oregon Tech scored the first points of the game to take their only lead of the night, the Cavs connected on seven of their first nine field goals. Sparked by their hot start, the Cavs outscored the Owls 14-4 over a six minute stretch to turn an 8-7 lead into a 22-11 lead with less than eight minutes gone in the game. CU’s Anthony Holton led the Cavs during the run, scoring seven of the team’s 14 points.
While both teams would settle into the game a bit after that, the Cavs never really dropped off from their hot start, riding the emotion of a crowd worthy of March Madness.
Oregon Tech did make a strong charge at the Cavs’ lead early in the second half when they scored nine straight to bring them back within six. The Owls’ David Clarke scored five in the stretch and capped it with one of his four three-pointers on the night.
The Cavs responded quickly to the Owls’ run though, ballooning their lead back up to 10 points. That’s where the game would hover for a few minutes until another small 6-0 OIT run dropped the lead back down to seven at 60-53 with 8:39 left.
Again, the Cavs would respond immediately however, going on a 12-0 run to take their largest lead of the game at 72-53 with 5:26 remaining. The Cavs’ Kevan West provided the most electric plays of the run, scoring six points off a dunk, alley-oop lay-up and a put back, each one sending the crowd further into hysterics.
Proving resilient themselves, though, the Owls scored six of the next seven points after that as the game dipped under three minutes left.
With his team down 14 at that point, OIT head coach Danny Miles instructed his players to start fouling the Cavs. The first foul came with 2:38 left on the clock, which would usually be considered early in a game, but the Cavs entered the night shooting only .583 from the free throw line.
At first, the strategy worked, as the Cavs missed the front of back-to-back one-and-ones, while OIT took cut the lead to 73-63. However, the Cavs made six of the next eight from the line to go back up by 15 points.
After that, the rabid fans could finally let loose as the Cavs bled the last 1:13 off the clock to seal the upset.
The win on Friday marks the first time the Cavs have beaten OIT since they topped them 71-67 in 2008, the year OIT won their second NAIA National Championship.
Statistically, besides the big advantage in field goal percentage, the Cavs also recorded a 44-32 rebounding advantage in the game. That comes after the Owls outrebounded the Cavs by nine in their first game of the season and also marks the second-highest rebounding advantage over the Owls by an opponent this season. In addition, the Cavs held the Owls to 18.5 percent shooting from beyond-the-arc after the Owls entered the night shooting over 40 percent.
On the flip side, the Owls defense forced the Cavs into 19 turnovers on the night and recorded nine steals. OIT also bested the Cavs in offensive rebounds, 16-14.
Individually, West followed his career-high 27-point performance against Warner Pacific with a career-high 15 rebounds against the Owls. West also scored a game-high 23 points to record his ninth career, and third-straight, 20-point game. Besides West, Holton ended up with his own career-high with 15 points, while Adam Herman and Drew Preuninger each added 14. Preuninger also recorded four three-pointers and three steals.
For the Owls, Bobby Hunter led the team with 20 points with Clarke and Scotty Riddle adding 17 and 10, respectively. Hunter led all players with four assists and tied Clarke for the team-high with six rebounds.
Next up, the Owls head across town to face No. 8 Warner Pacific on Saturday, Jan. 28, while Concordia hosts Southern Oregon. Both games will begin at 7:30 p.m
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