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SOU women beat Simpson in season opener

Southern Oregon's shooting strokes were rusty but its defense wasn't in a season-opening 55-41 win against Simpson (Calif.) on Wednesday night at Lithia Motors Pavilion.

The Raiders shrugged off a 33-percent night from the field by holding the Redhawks (1-5) to 25 percent, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds and plucking away 15 steals. Sophomore guard Dominique Harding registered team-highs of 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists in their 13th consecutive home-opening victory.

Leading 28-22 at halftime, Harding opened the third with five straight points and the Raiders limited Simpson to one bucket in the quarter, expanding advantage lead to 14. The margin grew to 18 in the fourth as they kept the lead for the final 34 minutes.

Danasia Allison set the defensive tone off the bench with four of her five steals in the first quarter. The sophomore added seven points and five rebounds.

Kalei Iwami contributed eight points with a pair of 3-pointers, Delaney Sparling and Bryanna Raff scored six apiece, and Kenadee Honaker chipped in six boards and three steals.

The Raiders finished with a 34-19 edge in bench points. They forced 26 turnovers but had 24 of their own.

Samarra Fernandez and Rube Daube both scored eight points to lead the Redhawks.

SOU will travel to Lewiston, Idaho, for this weekend's LC State Twin Rivers Physical Therapy Classic. The face host Lewis-Clark State on Friday and defending NAIA Division I champion Montana Western on Saturday.

Southern Oregon University Head Basketball coach Alex Carlson talks with players during the CCC Tournament final against OIT at Mountain Avenue Gym on Monday, Feburary 29, 2016.(Photo by: Larry Stauth Jr)