GILBERT, Ariz. — Tyler Hieb scored on a traditional three-point play to give Oregon Tech a lead it would not relinquish Thursday as the Hustlin’ Owls claimed a 71-45 nonleague men’s basketball victory at Park University of Arizona Thursday.
The game was the first ever home game for the Buccaneers, who are fielding a basketball team for the first time in school history.
The win, which makes OIT 3-0 on the season, is the first of two games in Arizona for the second-rated Owls.
Mitchell Fink and Lachlan McKimm both scored baskets for Tech as it took a 7-0 lead in the game, before Park would cut its deficit to a single point twice in the contest as the Buccaneers fell to 1-4 on the season.
Saad Ali’s basket cut Tech’s lead to 19-18 with 6½ minutes left in the first half.
By halftime, OIT had taken a trio of nine-point leads, the last at 33-24 at the intermission.
Hieb’s basket gave Tech its first double-digit lead, 35-25, and a Matt Van Tassell basket four minutes into the second half upped the score to 39-29 before the Hustlin’ Owls would pull away. Their biggest lead of the game was the final score.
“We certainly did not have our best effort offensively, but we really competed defensively,” Tech coach Justin Parnell said. “To hold any team at 45 is a phenomenal job. It’s always good to get the first road win of the year.”
n OIT set two school records in the win. Tech was just 1-for-10 from the three-point line, the fewest three-point baskets in a single game by the Hustlin’ Owls, and Park was 0-for-7 from long range, the first time an OIT opponent failed to score a three-point goal.
n Park University is a sister campus to the Park University in Missouri.
n The Gilbert, Ariz., school plans to play for NAIA honors starting the 2020-21 season.
n The Buccaneers lone win this season came at Embry-Riddle, 57-55, in their first ever game. Tech is at Embry-Riddle at 7:30 p.m. today.
n Thursday, Hieb led OIT with 13 points, while Van Tassell scored 12, Fink and Harrison Steiger 11 each, and Kaison Faust 10. Van Tassell, Faust and McKimm all had seven rebounds, and Fink had a team-high five assists.
n Ali led the Buccaneers with 12 points, and Tyson Beringer had seven rebounds and two blocked shots.