Oregon Tech's Mihajlo Matic recorded a game-high 19 points tonight versus University Nevada - Reno. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
RENO – Oregon Tech’s Mihaljo Matic recorded a game-high 19 points, and the Hustlin’ Owls went back-and-forth with NCAA I University Nevada-Reno, before a late second half run by the Wolf Pack put an end to an upset bid by the Owls, eventually falling in tonight’s exhibition contest at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno by an 86-75 score. The Wolf Pack is coming off a 28-7 season, WAC title and the school’s first trip to the NIT quarterfinals last season.
Oregon Tech trailed early,4-0, but quickly tied the exhibition game versus UNR, 7-7, on a Josh Wiseman jumper and eventually taking their first lead at the 15:50 mark on a 3-pointer from Mihajlo Matic, 12-10.
A UNR trey from Jeremy Evans on the home team’s next trip down the floor gave the lead back to the Pack, but Tech’s Austen Flint answered with a 3 point field goal to give the Owls a 15-13 advantage, while Derek Evans, on Brandon Bautista assist, put the Hustlin’ Owls up 18-13 on his triple.
Tech would hold the 5 point edge, but a Cole Huff basket cut the UNR deficit to three points, 20-17, with 12:19 to play in period 1. The Owls, held scoreless over the next three minutes of play, relinquished their lead, as the Pack jumped up 22-20 midway through the period.
Tech’s Matic answered again from long range, giving the lead back to the Owls, 23-22, and continued to hold a one point advantage, 33-32, with under five minutes until the half.
With the game tied 33-33, a 7-0 UNR run put the home team up 40-33. However, the Owls would battle back and trail by just three at the intermission by a 41-38 score.
UNR would use a 7-0 run to open the second half, before a Josh Wiseman basket put the Owls on the board. With the Wolf Pack leading by 10 points, 50-40, back-to-back buckets by Josh Johnson and Matic kept the Owls close, 50-44. Another Matic triple pulled Tech within 5 points with 15 minutes to play, but that would be as close as the Owls would get.
A pair of Derek Evans free throws had Oregon Tech within six points with less than 13 minutes remaining in the game, but it was all Wolf Pack over the next 10 minutes, going up by 20 points, 84-64, with 3:16 on the clock.
Tech would outscore UNR by an 11-2 count for the remainder of the game, eventually falling by the same margin, 86-75.
Mihajlo Matic finished with a game-high 19 points, including five from long range, with Josh Wiseman adding 14 points and 6 rebounds on the night. Brandon Bautista recorded 11 points and 4 assists with Derek Evans knocking down 10 points for the Owls.
Oregon Tech won the battle of the boards, 41-40, including a game-high 11 from Alex Zerbach, with 21 of the total coming from the offensive end. Tech would connect on 38.2% from the floor (29-for-76) with UNR shooting 48.8% (29-of-60). UNR held the edge at the charity stripe hitting 22-of-27 versus just 7-for-11 for the Owls.