No. 22 Owls Lose to No. 7 Yotes to Start CCC Play


Klamath Falls, Ore. – The battle of the NAIA ranked no. 7 College of Idaho and the no. 22 ranked Oregon Tech saw a tremendous defensive effort by both teams, as the Yotes held on in the final possession to walk away with the win, 71-68, on Danny Miles Court.

The contest between the two nationally ranked teams started with focus on the defensive side of the ball, with minimal quality looks at the hoop for either team. As the half wore on with the Yotes pressing the Owls, the floor began to open up in the transition game, and both teams started to find more opportunities to add to their score-line. The half came to a close with the Yotes carrying the slight advantage leading the game 33-28.

The second half started with the same theme as the first, focused on defensive. With sound play on both ends, it took 3 minutes for either team to find any points. As the game continued, C of I began to establish themselves a little more offensively, pressing their lead to 9 points, before Tech would respond. The Owls freshman, Zach Bernards hit a wide open 3-pointer from the corner, followed by two big stops on defense that were converted on the offensive end of the floor, making a 7-point run see the game come within 2 points. Two possessions later, Tech tied the score at 56-56, with 5 minutes left to play.

The final 5 minutes of play saw the Yotes take back the lead and fight of the Owls until the final 30 seconds, when a Mitchell Fink jumper brought the game within 1 point.  The close score saw the two teams end the game on the free throw line, but misses on both ends kept the game exciting until the final possession. With 12 seconds left in the game, Tech would drive the floor looking for a last 3-pointer to take the game into overtime. A shot under pressure by Zach Bernanrds at the buzzer rattled in rim for an in-and-out shot, that would see the Yotes walk away victorious with a final score of 68-71.

On the night, the Yotes shot 45% from the floor and were led by Azuz Leeks with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Talon Pinckney added 15 points, while Keun Palu-Thompson put in 13 and Roosevelt Adams with 10 points.

The Owls shot 43% from the floor and were led by Mitchell Fink with 17 points, while Tyler Hieb put up 16 points and 8 rebounds. With the loss, Tech moves to 6-4 on the season.

The Owls will be back in action on Sunday, December 3, as they host Eastern Oregon, with a 6:00pm start on Danny Miles Court.
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