Late Run Lifts Oregon Tech to Cascade Conference Tournament Crown
Hustlin' Owls Claim 4th Straight CCC Tournament Championship (photo by Kelly Caleb)
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Top-seeded Oregon Tech, trailing by nine points with just over seven minutes to play, used a late game run and scored the final seven points of the contest, as the Hustlin’ Owls earned a hard-fought 77-71 victory over upset-minded and two-seeded Northwest University in the 2012 Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament finals tonight at Danny Miles Court.
No. 3 Oregon Tech, winning an unprecedented fourth-straight CCC tournament championship, moves on to the NAIA Division II national tournament with a 29-4 overall mark.
No. 9 Northwest University, joining Oregon Tech at the national tournament, falls to 27-4 on the season.
Behind an Ahmaad Cook layup and ensuing 3-point field goal, Jason Waltman followed with a basket and Northwest led Oregon Tech 7-0 right out of the gates. NU would eventually lead 10-2 just four minutes in.
Tech’s Bryant Sentman then drew the Owls to within three points when he connected from long range to make it 14-11 with 13:39 remaining in the opening period.
In a game of streaks the momentum shifted back to NU, as a Cook triple capped an 8-2 Eagle run giving the visitors their largest lead of the half, 22-13, with 12:13 on the clock. NU would maintain the nine point lead over the next eight minutes as the Eagles built a 31-22 advantage with just over four minutes until the half.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from David Clarke and Scotty Riddle would inspire the home team, as the Owls closed out the half on a 14-2 run and help capture a 36-33 lead heading into intermission.
Oregon Tech looked to take control of the contest during the first five minutes of period two, as Tech built an eight point lead, 49-41, after Kyle Gomez converted a layup and free throw to shift momentum to the home team with 14:39 remaining in the game.
Northwest, however, would use an ensuing 16-6 run, capped by another Cook trey, to take a two point lead, and when Michael Green converted back-to-back baskets, the Eagles moved out on top of the Owls 61-55 with just over nine minutes remaining.
Tech’s Hunter would hit back-to-back freebies, but a Tyler Mendezona 3-pointer and Waltman layup pushed the NU lead back up to nine, their largest of the second stanza, 66-57, with 7:28 on the clock.
It was an ensuing 11-1 spurt over the next five minutes of play that lifted the Owls to a slim 68-67 lead, but NU answered back and with just 1:27 to play the Eagles led 71-70.
The Oregon Tech defense would hold the Eagles 0-for-4 from the field for the remainder of the game, while scoring the final seven points of the contest, all on free throws, to earn the 77-71 victory.
Bobby Hunter, the Cascade Conference Player of the Year, led a quartet of Owls in double figures with a game-high 23 points to go with five assists, four rebounds and three steals. Kyle Gomez, in a reserve role, followed with 16 points and five rebounds with Scotty Riddle adding 15 points and David Clarke 11 points, four rebounds and four assists in the win for Tech.
Ahmaad Cook connected on 6-of-8 field goals, including 4-for-5 from long range to lead Northwest with a team-high 18 points. Michael Green, playing in foul trouble most the game, followed with 10 points and five rebounds with Jason Waltman and Nemanja Grujicic adding nine points apiece in the loss for NU.
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