CALDWELL, Idaho – Mitchell Fink scored a game-high 23 points, leading Oregon Tech to an 86-79 upset of fourth-ranked College of Idaho inside the J.A. Albertson Activities Center Saturday night as the loss snapped a 14-game win streak for the Coyotes (24-6, 18-2 CCC) and was their first home defeat since October.
With the win OIT earned the No. 3 seed in the CCC Postseason Tournament as the Owls will host 6th seeded Corban University Wednesday night at 7:00 pm at Danny Miles Court.
Quarterfinal Playoff tickets will go on sale Monday morning at 8:00 am in the OIT Athletics office. General tickets will be $5.00, reserved seats $6.00, OIT Students $2.00. Reserved season ticket holders will have until Tuesday at 5:00 pm to claim their seats. All remaining reserved seats will be available to the public beginning Wednesday morning at 8:00 am. For more information on tickets call the OIT Athletics office at 541.885.1634.
The Yotes took their only lead on the first bucket of the game a layup by Aziz Leeks then the Owls took over as Tyler Hieband Seth Erickson hit back-to-back three's to give the Owls the lead for good. Fink followed with a three ball of his own to stretch the OIT lead to 9-5 just 2:00 minutes into the contest. Erickson hit another long ball followed by a fink layup and Owls went up 14-5.
The Hooter took a 45-38 lead into the second half – a margin they would extend to 66-56 with 12 minutes remaining. The Yotes would cut the deficit to four on three occasions – the last on two Roosevelt Adams free throws with just under three minutes left at 75-71. Enter Fink, who connected on a contested 23-footer as the shot clock expired on Tech's next possession, with the Owls making 8-of-10 free throws to seal their third win on the Yotes home court in the past three seasons.
Nate Bruneel led the Yotes with 16 points, with Keun Palu-Thompson scoring 14 – including four 3-pointers. Talon Pinckney had 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds; Leeks had 12 points, with Gibson Berryhill and Adams each scoring 10.
Fink led all scorers with 23 points – 16 coming after the break – adding seven assists. Carvalho had 14 points and five rebounds, with Seth Erickson scoring 12. OIT hit 55-percent of their field goals, including 11-of-22 from 3-point range, while making 19-of-21 from the stripe.
As the outright regular season champion and the No. 1 seed CI secured the first of two AQ's to the NAIA National Tournament. The Yotes finished CCC action 18-2.
The 2nd automatic qualifier to the NAIA National Tournament will be awarded to the CCC Tournament Champion. If the tournament champion is also regular season champion College of Idaho, the 2nd AQ shall go to the team that is seeded second in the CCC tournament.
Quarterfinals – Wednesday, Feb. 21
#8 Northwest @ #1 College of Idaho
#7 Northwest Christian @ #2 Warner Pacific
#6 Corban @ #3 Oregon Tech
#5 Eastern Oregon @ #4 Southern Oregon
Semifinals – Saturday, Feb. 24
Highest remaining seeds host lowest remaining seeds
Championship – Tuesday, Feb. 27
Highest remaining seed host lowest remaining seed- ROOT SPORTS TV Broadcast
A full tournament preview will be published Wednesday morning on the CCC website
Press release from Oregon Tech Sports Information.