SALEM — Corban, which is in a race for a home Cascade Collegiate Conference men’s basketball playoff game enhanced its chances when the Warriors netted 62 percent of their shots on the way to a 90-75 victory over 10th-rated Oregon Tech.
The win snapped OIT’s six-game winning streak and dropped the Hustlin’ Owls into second place in the league at 13-3. The College of Idaho, which plays at Tech Satursday, is 14-2. Corban now is 11-6 and needs one a win against Northwest Christian Tuesday to seal a home-game for the playoffs.
Corban never trailed Saturday, and opened up a 10-point lead just over five minutes into the game. The Warriors, who received votes in the most recent national poll, were able to take leads of 20 points three times in the win.
For Tech, the loss means no one on the current roster was in uniform the last time the Hustlin’ Owls won at Corban.
The closest OIT would come to a lead came one minute into Saturday’s contest when Seth Erickson buried a three-pointer to make the score 4-3.
While Corban made 32-of-52 shots from the floor, including 11-of-20 from three-point range, Tech struggled and finished with 24-of-61 shots (39 percent). OIT was 9-for-26 from three-point range.
Tech also was coming off an emotional win at Northwest Christian Friday, the first time any of the current OIT players ever had won at NCU.
While Corban completes its regular season Tuesday, the Hustlin’ Owls have two home games left and host Eastern Oregon Friday in the annual Black Out for Hunger contest. Then comes the game against CI.
Saturday, Mitchell Fink finished with 28 points and moved into 10th place on OIT’s all-time scoring list with 1,381 career points. He passed Alex Carlson Saturday. Fink also had six assists.
Erickson finished with 12 points for Tech, with Scotty Burge and Kellen Gerig each leading the team with five rebounds.
Corban had five players in double figures, led by A.J. Hodges with 18 points and three assists. Beau Tilleman had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors.
The conference playoffs begin, for the men, Feb. 20, the day after the final regular season NAIA Division II national poll is released.