KLAMATH FALLS, Ore--- The Oregon Tech student section (otherwise known as the "Hootie's Hooligans") was not in attendance for one of the wildest comebacks in the history of the storied rivalry between OIT and SOU. If it was, the fans may have left without their hearing.
Oregon Tech (5-1) erased a double-digit deficit in the final minutes of its game with SOU (0-2) on Saturday, and then stole a 105-99 overtime win.
With the victory, Oregon Tech completed a weekend sweep of their cross-Cascades rival.
Though, the game certainly did not start in the Owls' favor. SOU came out shooting as hot as a team can.
SOU's Jake Virga hit on 11 of SOU's first 13 points, including three 3-point shots.
By halftime, SOU was 6-13 from downtown and shooting 50% from the field. On the other hand, Oregon Tech was 1-12 from 3-point range and 14-35 from the field.
Long story short, SOU was shooting really great, and Oregon Tech was shooting really bad. SOU took a 38-32 lead into the half.
Much like the first half, the second half started with SOU on a big, 8-0 run. Eventually, the Owls found themselves in a 15-point hole with just 9:48 left. That is when the Owls started chipping away.
"I attribute that to depth. We got a lot of guys coming back, and then a lot of freshmen coming in, and guys in the middle as well," said freshman guard Kam Osborn. "Even if you only play two or three minutes, as long as you get in, give a 110 percent and the next guy is in."
If you look down the play-by-play in the box score, this is where you start seeing a lot of Osborn and freshman guard Keegan Shivers. They are two freshman that played like veteran leaders when the Owls desperately needed them.
Over the final nine minutes, Osborne and Shivers combined for 22 points, including four consecutive 3-point shots from Osborn. With that, OIT forced overtime. There was an 89-point deadlock at Danny Miles Court.
If we were to ask you who scored the majority of points over a 7-0 run to open overtime... who would you guess? If you were to guess Shivers and Osborn, you would be correct.
Overtime opened with a downtown hit from Shivers that was assisted by Osborn. Then, Osborn hit on a 2-point jumper of his own.
After two free-throws from Garret Albrecht, OIT had gained complete control.
Destiny seemed to be working in OIT's favor from that point on. Shivers would throw up another three while the shot clock expired with 3:05 left. It banked in.
Shivers would then knock down game icing free-throws with six seconds left. All of it resulting in a jolting, 105-99 OIT win.
Shivers finished the game with 26 points while going 6-8 from downtown.
Osborn finished with 24 while going 4-7 from downtown.
What we learned about SOU:
All of that is tough to read and think that SOU played a great game, but it actually did.
SOU was in control of a majority of the game and often held a double-digit lead. That is coming off a double-digit loss to OIT on Friday.
Southern Oregon made incredible strides overnight.
Josh Meyer was uncontrollable through much of the opening 10 minutes of the 2nd half. In all, he finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Meyer also managed to hit three shots from 3-point range.
Jake Virga shot as about efficiently as it is going to get in a rivalry game. Virga finished 5-8 from downtown and earned 22 points. He also added three assists.
Up until about nine minutes left, SOU responded to every charge from the Owls and even fought back in at the end of overtime.
We learned that SOU is a very young squad. These were just the Raiders first two games of the season. Coming into the weekend, SOU head coach Brian McDermott acknowledged that after a year and a half absence, the Raiders would most likely struggle in the turnover department. They did.
Even while allowing a massive comeback, the young Raiders clearly have pieces set up for the future that are going to be a real problem to keep up with.
The Raiders made very clear, early on, that they can shoot a team off the court on a hot shooting day.
Oregon Tech will be on the road coming up on April 9. That is when Oregon Tech will meet Eastern Oregon for a back-to-back.
Southern Oregon will play its first home game at Lithia Motors Pavilion on the same day. That game is set to tip at 4 p.m.