ASHLAND, Ore. – After shooting under 21% in the first half, the Evergreen Geoducks made 63% from the field in the second half to earn a crucial win over the Southern Oregon Raiders, 58-53, in a Cascade Conference women’s basketball game on Saturday night in Ashland, Ore.
After the Raiders (14-13, 5-11 CCC) put up a quick five points to open the game, the Geoducks (6-20, 4-13 CCC) struggled to find their shot as SOU was up 13-5 with 11:06 left in the first half. Evergreen put up eight straight to tie the game up at 13-13 with 5:27 on a move to the hoop by Jessica Edge (Lake Stevens, Wash./Skagit Valley College) as Southern Oregon struggled from the field. The Geoducks struggled as well, making just one of their first nine free throw attempts to allow the Raiders to stay competitive in the opening half.
SOU had the final push of the first half as the Raiders took a 21-17 lead into the break as the teams were an identical 21% from the field, making seven-of-34 attempts from the field. The difference was at the charity stripe as Southern made seven-of-nine attempts from the free throw line, compared with just one-of-nine for the Geoducks.
Evergreen tied it up again on a jumper by Sami Clark (Monroe, Wash./Edmonds CC) with 11:50 left to play and then a jumper by Danielle Swain (Rainier, Wash./Black Hills HS) earned the first Geoduck lead of the night with 10:31 on the clock. The two teams continued to trade baskets as Evergreen held a four-point lead heading into the final minutes.
Senior Mele Rich (Lakewood, Wash./Pierce College) hit a pair of free throws with 2:27 left to push the lead to six and Maddie Graves (Spokane, Wash./Eastern Washington University) hit a jumper with 1:15 left to go up by six top put the nail in the coffin as Evergreen collected the 58-53 win over the host Raiders.
Evergreen was led by 21 points off the bench from Swain, who also added eight rebounds in the win. Graves finished with 12 points after earning the start while Edge added 10 points and seven rebounds on the night. The Geoducks out-rebounded the Raiders, 45-43, on the game.
Southern Oregon was paced the 17 points from RaTanya Newsome, who collected nine of those points from the charity stripe. Krysten Copeland added 12 points as just two Raiders finished with double-digit scoring. Despite 17-of-20 shooting on free throws for 85.0%, the Raiders shot just 27.6% from the field to take the loss.
The Geoducks wrap up the 2011-12 regular season on Saturday night when they play host to in-state rival Northwest. Prior to tip with the Eagles, Evergreen will honor Rich as their lone senior.