Oregon Tech Earns Third Straight Conference Tournament Crown with 88-83 Win Over Eastern Oregon
The Oregon Tech men's basketball team ran their home win streak to 57 straight with an 88-83 win tonight over Eastern Oregon in the Cascade Conference Tournament finals. Oregon Tech became the only conference team to win three straight regular season championships and three straight CCC Tournament crowns. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Oregon Tech used a 12-2 run in the opening period to help build an 11 point advantage, and held off a determined Eastern Oregon team in the final seven minutes of play, earning a third straight Cascade Collegiate Conference championship with an 88-83 win tonight at Danny Miles Court.
Eighth-ranked Oregon Tech moves into the NAIA II National Tournament with a 29-4 overall mark. Eleventh ranked Eastern Oregon University will join the Hustlin’ Owls in Branson with a 25-6 record.
After trading one point leads around the 12 minute mark, a mid-range jumper from Bryant Sentman gave the Owls a 22-19 lead at the midway point of the first period. A Mihajlo Matic 3-pointer then capped an 8-0 Tech run that gave OIT an 11 point cushion with 6:14 on the clock. After EOU chipped into the Tech lead, a triple from Kyle Gomez pushed the Owl advantage back to a double digit lead, 33-22.
EOU would climb back into the contest over the next five minutes, and after a pair of Josh Cottle free-throws that closed out the first half scoring, OIT headed to intermission with just a 45-41 lead.
Oregon Tech went up six points to open the second half, but EOU answered on back-to-back triples to tie it up at 49-49 four minutes into the second period.
Oregon Tech took over the next five minutes, and after a Matt Smith 3-point field goal, led 64-56 nearing the 11 minute mark.
EOU quickly answered back, and with just under 10 minutes to play trailed 66-63. Eastern, trailing the Owls over the last 20 minutes of play, took a brief lead after Josh Cottle buried a deep 3-pointer to give EOU a 69-68 lead with 7:51 remaining to play.
Back-to-back Joseph Foster 3-pointers, and a Brent Johnson jumper on the next Owl possession, gave the momentum back to the home team, as the Owls would lead 76-69 with just over five minutes to play. Oregon Tech would never trail again.
EOU, however, would continue to battle back, and after a pair of Jason Mumm free-throws closed the Mounties to 80-77 at the 1:22 mark.
A pair of David Clarke free-throws with 27 seconds looked to ice the game, but back-to-back triples from JC Cook and Mumm left EOU within a possession of tying things up.
OIT’s Matt Smith was fouled on the next Owl possession and would ice the game at the charity stripe with 12 seconds to play. Smith buried both tries, as Oregon Tech secured a third straight CCC Tournament title.
Joseph Foster, the CCC Player of the Year, lived up to the honor after scoring a team-high 21 points in the win. Foster would also add three rebounds and two assists. Brent Johnson went for a career-high 20 points and grabbed three rebounds, while Kyle Gomez and Bryant Sentman netted 10 points each. Gomez came away with a game-high nine boards to go with two assist, two blocks and two steals.
EOU’s Jason Mumm finished with a game-high 28 points, 19 of those coming in the opening period. Josh Cottle recorded 15 points, while Jamar Johnson came away with nine in the loss for the Mountaineers.
The final NAIA II Top 25 poll comes out Wednesday at 5 p.m., where the teams will learn their seeding at this year’s national tournament.
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