KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - The Oregon Tech Hustlin' Owls pick up their second win of the weekend over Walla Walla University in a dramatic second-half comeback to win 82-77, after trailing for the first 34:00 minutes of the game. The win moves the Owls into 3rd place in the CCC standings with a record of 7-2, and 14-5 on the season.
After their first meeting on Saturday, when the Hustlin' Owls walked away with the win by 37-points, the Wolves of Walla Walla showed up with a renewed determination for game two on Sunday. The Wolves took the lead, hitting a 3-pointer on their first shot of the game, and fought to keep the lead all half. The Owls brought the score level five times, but the visitors responded each time.
With Walla Walla pushing their lead up to 8-points closing in on the halftime break, the Owls worked hard to create a final opportunity. A 3-pointer by Seth Erickson would close the gap to 5-points with the score 35-40, in favor of the visiting Wolves.
Coming off the break, Walla Walla stayed sharp, making life difficult for the Owls to get back in the game. Over the first 6:00 minutes of the period, the Wolves went on a 20 to 9 run, stretching their lead to as much as 17-points in the half.
With 10:00 minutes remaining in the game, the Hustlin' Owls began to gain momentum. Mitchell Fink scored 10-points on four trips down the court, cutting the lead to single digits. Three big defensive stops on the defensive side of the ball for the Owls, that were converted into points on the other end of the court, would set up the next possession for Tech to take the lead. A pull-up jumper in the paint by Fink put the Owls back on top with a score of 67-66 and just under 6:00 minutes left to play.
Having worked so hard to get back on top, the Owls had no intention of letting the game go. The final few minutes of the contest saw the score stay within 6-points at its largest gap, with both teams looking for any separation from their opponent.
Walla Walla, now chasing the game, would cut the lead to just 2-points three times, but were unable to regain the lead. The game came to a close with the Owls squeaking out the win in dramatic fashion with a final score of 82-77.
On the night, the Wolves had four players in double-digits scoring. Leading the way was Dylan Browning with 15-points and 7 rebounds. Jacob Vargas and Wesley Burke each added 12-points, and Roy Zavala put in 10-points.
The Owls ended the game with four players in double-digits, being led by Mitchell Fink with 30-points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Tyler Hieb had 15-points and 5 rebounds on the night, while Harrison Steiger and Seth Erickson put in 13 and 12-points respectively.
The Hustlin' Owls will hit the road next weekend, as they take on Corban University and Northwest Christian University. They will return home the weekend of January 20th & 21st, as they host Northwest University and The Evergreen State College.
Follow the Hustlin' Owls for the latest news, stats and updates at www.OregonTechOwls.com, Twitter and Instagram @OregonTechOwls.
Written by; Matt Munhall, Oregon Tech Sports Information Assistant - OregonTechOwls.com