Mountaineers fall to No. 2 Southern Oregon

Written by Chris Baxter, The Observer December 20, 2013 08:53 pm
The Eastern Oregon University men’s basketball team faced a tough battle against No. 2 Southern Oregon, and it didn’t get any easier without the shots falling.

Despite getting open looks at the basket, the Mountaineers couldn’t convert during an 83-60 loss to the visiting Raiders from Ashland Friday, dropping to 1-2 in conference play.

EOU went 1-of-16 from behind the arc, and 7-of-26 from the floor in the first half. The Mountaineers also had 11 turnovers, which led to a 35-22 deficit at halftime.

The Mountaineers leading scorer Tony Eackles Jr. had an off night, going 0-of-10 from the field, finishing with just four points from the free-throw line. Trevor Phillips led the Mountaineers with 18 points, while Derek Maloney added 12 points. Deonta Edwards contributed 10 points on a night the EOU bench outscored the starters 42-18.

Southern Oregon’s leading scorer Eric Thompson got into foul trouble early, but still paced his team with 16 points. David Sturner and Jeff Bush finished with 14 and points, respectively. Justin Martin came off the bench to score 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field.

The Mountaineers bounced back to shoot 44 percent from the floor in the second half. But, the defense that led the NAIA headed into the game couldn’t slow the Raiders down. Southern Oregon shot 50 percent from the field in the second half, and finished at 48 percent for the game.

EOU (9-3) will host the Oregon Institute of Technology at 7:30 p.m. tonight. The Owls fell to the College of Idaho 83-64 Friday.