CALDWELL, Idaho – A 16-3 first half run helped the College of Idaho build a 15-point first half lead, as the Lady Yotes advanced to their sixth-straight Cascade Conference Championships final, defeating Oregon Tech, 71-62, inside the J.A. Albertson Activities Center.
Felicity Jones scored six of her team-high 16 points in the run, as the No. 17 ranked Lady Yotes (21-7) built a 35-25 halftime lead.
The Lady Yotes (21-7) play in their sixth-straight CCC Championships final, meeting top-seeded Eastern Oregon on Monday night at 7 p.m. in La Grande. The C of I, by virtue of playing the regular-season conference champs in the title game, earn the league's second automatic bid to the NAIA Division II National Championships - their fifth-straight appearance in the 32-team tournament March 6-12 in Sioux City, Iowa.
The C of I never trailed in the contest, but the Owls (21-9) hung tough early, connecting on a trio of three-pointers in the first nine minutes, as a Karissa Dixon trey and a Kassi Conditt jumper cut the Yotes lead to 17-15. The hosts would clamp down defensively, holding the Hooters to just one made field goal and forcing five turnovers over an eight minute stretch - as a Katelin Shannon free throw pushed the margin to 35-20 before OIT closed the half on a 5-0 run.
A Conditt jumper early in the second half closed the gap to 37-31, but the Yotes would slowly pull away, regaining a 54-39 lead with 9:48 to go. Despite holding the hosts without a made field goal over a six minute stretch, the Owls could only get within 56-47, before a Dayna Drager trey proved to be the dagger, as the Yotes improved to 14-0 at home in the postseason under Reagan Rossi.
Jones logged her second-straight double-double, adding 12 rebounds for the Coyotes, with Drager scoring 11 of her 15 points in the second half. Chakala Carthen had 14 points in the win, with Laura Geis recording 12 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocked shots.
Dixon led OIT with 17 points, with Conditt scoring 12 and pulling down 11 rebounds, and six blocked shots. Tech struggled at the foul line, going just 9-of-19 from the stripe.