Lady Owls Fall to Corban
SALEM, Ore. – Corban's women's basketball team defeated the visiting Hustlin' Owls of Oregon Tech 63-60, after resuming conference play following the Christmas break thanks to a game-high 20 points by junior Katie Steigleman (Eugene, Ore.) Thursday inside the C.E. Jeffers Sports Center.
Supporting the Warrior effort was sophomore Tess Bennett (Sutherlin, Ore.) with a double-double thanks to 11 points and a game-high 10 boards, while sophomore Emily Tsugawa (Gladstone, Ore.) added five assists on the offensive end of the court to go along her nine points.
Oregon Tech saw a distribution of offensive scoring with Brittany Cherry and Karissa Dixon combining for 23 points. Cherry also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, four of which were on the offensive glass.
In their first on-court action in 10 days, Corban sputtered out of the gate seeing junior Becky Buhler (Clackamas, Ore.) hit rim on the first shot taken of the night. Seconds later, Cherry notched her first points of the match-up, giving the Hustlin' Owls an early 2-0 lead. After surrendering the initial bucket, the Warriors caught fire, capping off a 6-0 run on senior Jennesa Miller's (Mica, Wash.) jump-shot to take a 6-2 advantage with three minutes elapsed. Oregon Tech took a page out of Corban's playbook, utilizing the fast-break to knot the score at 8-all and would go on to take the lead on Karissa Dixon's free throw. Almost as quickly as both teams had traded scoring runs, the Hustlin' Owls exploded for 12 points on their end of the scoreboard, jumping out to a 23-14 lead with 10 minutes gone in the half. But once again, Corban hung in the mix, pulling the game within reach at 28-22 on Buhler's first points from beyond the arc. On Corban's next possession, Miller broke free from her defender and shot a jumper that fell into the hands of Steigleman, who laid it in to bring Corban to within four points (28-24) after the six minute mark. Down into the final minutes of the half, both teams could not convert scoring chances seeing Dixon commit two straight turnovers and Tsugawa's three-point attempt fall short. Corban at long last, finally took back the lead on sophomore Melissa Jones' s free throw, edging Corban ahead 33-31 with 13 seconds left in the half.
Picking up right where they left off, Corban came out of the break with poise. Bennett picked up the first points of the half on a rainmaker from down town to give the Warriors a 36-31 lead. Two minutes later, Steiglemen's two free throws pushed the Corban advantage to 40-33. With 13 minutes remaining, senior Ashlee Roderick (Yuba City, Calif.) teamed up with Steigleman to bag four points inside a twenty-second frame to push the Warrior lead to double digits (45-35). On their heels, the Hustlin' Owls broke the Corban surge on Kassi Conditt's foul shots to come within seven (49-47) with 8:40 left. Two minutes later, Corban surrendered two scoring possessions to Coleen Hunt and Aundrea Albright, letting Oregon Tech inch ever closer (53-49) with just over five minutes to play. Down the stretch, Corban could not capitalize on open shots to put the game away. Inside of two minutes, Steigleman missed a jumper but collected her own rebound pitching it out to an open Buhler who couldn’t connect on a three point attempt. Cherry rebounded and pushed up court, calling her own number and connected on her jump shot. After the inbound, Morgan Hofman stole the ball from Miller and found a streaking Dixon to the hoop to bring the contest to within one point with 49 seconds left to play. The next time down, Buhler was fouled but couldn’t find the net at the line with 23 seconds to play, therefore handing the ball back to the Hustlin' Owls with a chance for the win. After a full timeout, Steigleman pulled down Albright's ill-fated shot and was fouled, effectively sealing the game. Steigleman and Miller hit two free throws apiece to ice the game, 63-60, for Corban's third conference win of the season.
With tonight's result, Corban improves to 8-6 overall and 3-1 in Cascade Collegiate Conference play, while Oregon Tech falls to 8-9 on the season and remains winless in league games at 0-5. Oregon Tech will travel to Northwest Christian in Eugene on Friday for a 5:30 pm tip-off.
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