ASHLAND, Ore. – Putting together a strong 40 minutes, the Evergreen Geoducks nearly earned an upset win but it was the 14th-ranked Southern Oregon Raiders picking up the win, 77-70, in a Cascade Conference men’s basketball game on Friday night in Ashland, Ore.
The Geoducks came to play in the first half as the visiting squad took a 5-0 lead less than 30 seconds in following a three-pointer by Travis Wagner (Federal Way, Wash./Green River HS) and a jumper by freshman Michael Potter (Ridgefield, Wash./Ridgefield HS). SOU eventually started making shots but Evergreen was right there with them.
The Raiders eventually began to pull away, thanks to some strong shooting from Eric Thompson and Kyle Tedder as the lead hit double-digits with 5:05 on the clock following a free throw by Thompson. Southern Oregon eventually pushed the lead to 15 points at the break, leading 44-29.
In the second half, the Geoducks continued to battle and it paid off as the differential slowly shrunk. Evergreen managed to get back within single-digits with about six minutes left to play as Marc Taylor (Boise, Idaho/Edmonds CC) put in a pair to put the score at 66-58. Frankie Johnson (Renton, Wash./Hazen HS) hit a crucial three-pointer a few possessions later that pulled the Geoducks within six at 69-63 heading into the final minutes.
The Geoducks continued to try to chip away but the Raiders found a way to survive the upset attempt, picking up the 77-70 win.
Evergreen was led by 16 points from Johnson, who also had six assists on the night. Taylor added 12 points to his season totals while Cody Peters (Coupeville, Wash./Western Oregon Univ.) and Elzie Dickens (Seattle, Wash./Highline CC) each added 10. The Geoducks held a slight advantage on the glass, outrebounding SOU by a final of 37-34.
Southern Oregon was led by 18 points from Thompson. David Sturner added 17 points to go with 10 rebounds for SOU while Tedder finished with 14 points on the night. Dex Daum added 13 points to round out the Raiders in double-digit scoring. SOU picked up just 11 points from their bench, compared with 22 for the Geoducks.
The Geoducks will be in action again on Saturday night when they travel to Klamath Falls, Ore. to take on Oregon Tech. Tip with the Owls is set for 7:30 p.m. on Danny Miles Court.