La GRANDE, Ore. – Kyle Waits hits a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds to play to give Oregon Tech a 75-74 lead only to see EOU’s JD Esters connect as the buzzer sounded to give the Mountaineers a 77-75 victory in the first round of the 2013 Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament.
Oregon Tech's Brandon Bautista hits from long range in CCC quarterfinal game at Eastern Oregon University. (photo by Kelly Caleb
The Owls end the season with a 16-15 overall mark while going 7-11 in the final conference standings. No. 4 Eastern Oregon moved to 29-3 on the season and advance to the CCC semifinals on Saturday hosting Southern Oregon University.
Tech’s Jordan Kiely began the scoring as the visitors led 3-0 to open the CCC quarterfinal contest with EOU hitting from long range, nearly four minutes in, to tie it at 3-3.
OIT moved up 6-4, but the Mountaineers used an 18-4 run over a four minute period to go up 22-10.
With EOU in control, 31-16, the Tech defense came up big holding the home team without a field goal over the remaining 8+ minutes of the first period. In the same timeframe, the Owls put together a 17-2 run, as the teams went into intermission tied 33-33.
The game remained close throughout the first 10 minutes of period 2 with the score knotted at 53-53 at the midway point.
The Owls next took control eventually moving up by their largest lead of eight points, 67-59, on an Alex Zerbach jumper on an assist from Kyle Waits with 5:46 to play.
It was Eastern Oregon next mounting their comeback, taking a 69-68 lead two minutes later. The teams traded baskets before EOU moved up 73-70 with 57 seconds on the clock.
Tech’s Brandon Bautista scored on the next possession to pull the Owls to within one point, 73-72, before EOU went 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to regain a two point advantage at 74-72 with 31 seconds remaining.
After both teams took timeouts, Tech took control of the possession. Tech moved the ball over the next 25 seconds and when Kyle Waits got loose his triple with 5.2 seconds on the clock put the Owls up 75-74.
After an EOU timeout, the Mountaineers’ Cody Thurmond pushed the ball up court and found DJ Esters open in the corner for the game’s final shot, and when the buzzer sounded the ball found the bottom of the net for the victory, 77-75.
Kyle Waits finished with 17 points and 4 assists, while Derek Evans and Brandon Bautista recorded 11 points each. Evans grabbed 5 rebounds and Bautista handed out 6 assists in the loss. Tech got 8 points each from Jordan Kiely, Austen Flint and Alex Zerbach.