Oregon Tech Slips into CCC Semifinals
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – It was not easy, but Oregon Tech got one step closer to back-to-back Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament titles as the one-seeded Hustlin’ Owls squeaked by eight-seed The College of Idaho 64-63 tonight at Danny Miles Court in the quarterfinal round of the CCC tournament playoffs.
No. 2 ranked Oregon Tech ups their overall record to 27-4, while College of Idaho ends the 2009-10 season with a 9-17 overall mark. Head Coach Dan Miles now has 903 career victories, surpassing legendary coach Bobby Knight for third on the all-time wins list. The Hustlin’ Owls also continue to add to their school-record home winning streak, now at 36-straight.
The battle between the one-seed and eight-seeded teams was more like a championship game than anything else. Both teams would go back-and-forth, including 14 lead changes and 11 ties over the 40 minutes of play.
After a 14-14 tie at the midway mark of the first half, the Yotes would eventually lead by 10 points, their largest margin of the game, 31-21, and quiet a once rowdy crowd of nearly 1,000.
Two Joseph Foster free throws would cap an 8-2 Owl run just before the half as the home team went to the locker room down 33-29.
A Foster trey to begin the second half would tie the contest at 35-35 with 17 minutes remaining in the game. Oregon Tech then took their largest lead of the game at four points, on a Myles Daley jumper that made it 50-46 with 9:13 on the clock.
College of Idaho post Craig McGee, the only Coyote to shoot a free throw on the night, hit two of his 12 freebies to give the lead back to C of I, 53-51, with 7:07 left.
Oregon Tech then regained a three point lead on three occasions, the last at 60-57, on a Daley jumper. But the Yotes would answer on a Brian Bergerson triple that tied the contest with two minutes in the game.
Parnell gave Tech a 62-60 advantage, but another C of I trey gave the Yotes a one point lead, 63-62, with just 45 ticks on the game clock.
Parnell was fouled on the next Owl possession, and for the second-straight game would hit two clutch free throws that put Tech on top for good with just 26 seconds remaining.
College of Idaho would get the last shot, and when a Ballenger 15 footer hit front iron, Oregon Tech came away with a 64-63 win.
Myles Daley was 8-for-12 from the floor for 19 points to go with five rebounds in the Owl victory. Joseph Foster added 17 points, while Justin Parnell hit for 10 points and took game-high honors in rebounds and assists with eight each. The Owls shot 48.8% from the field and connected on 16-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Craig McGee was 8-for-11 shooting and connected on 12-14 free throws to finish with a game-high 28 points. McGee led the Yotes with six rebounds to go with two assists and a block. Noah Gottlieb connected for 21 points, while Matt Ballenger had nine. C of I shot 54.8% from the field, including 5-for-8 from the 3-point line.
Oregon Tech will host the five-seeded Northwest University of Kirkland, Wash. after the Eagles knocked off their first round opponent The Evergreen State by an 83-72 final. Tipoff for the semifinal round of the Cascade Conference tournament begins at 7:30 pm on Saturday, February 27th.
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