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Raider women home at long last

After playing eight of its first nine on the road, the Southern Oregon women’s basketball team will look to get rolling at Lithia Motors Pavilion against two formidable circuit rivals.

The Cascade Conference matchups will pit the Raiders (5-4 overall, 1-1 CCC) against 18th-ranked Eastern Oregon (8-4, 2-0) tonight and College of Idaho (4-7, 2-0) on Saturday, tipping off at 5:30 p.m. both nights. EOU and C of I protected their home courts during the opening week of CCC play against Multnomah and Warner Pacific, while SOU split its trip to Washington before taking a week off for final exams.

LAST TIME OUT: In their conference opener at Northwest (Wash.) on Dec. 6, the Raiders trailed by one in the third quarter before the Eagles got loose for 20 unanswered points en route to an 84-67 win behind center Sam Van Loo’s 30 points and nine rebounds. A night later, the Raiders faced a 10-point deficit with five minutes left at Evergreen (Wash.) but avoided the weekend sweep by finishing the game on a 23-7 push for a 79-73 win. Two Kenadee Honaker steals led to Dominique Harding’s go-ahead 3-pointers with just over a minute to play, giving Harding 19 points and six assists. Syd’Nee Fryer turned in her second straight double-double with 22 points, 12 boards, four steals and four assists and was subsequently voted the CCC Player of the Week.

Briefly

  • After averaging nine points through SOU’s first seven games, Syd’Nee Fryer erupted for a total of 44 points, 22 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and three blocks in the trip to Washington. In the process, she became the first Raider to record at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in back-to-back games since Carly Meister in 2015. The junior owns six double-doubles and four 20-point games in her career and is averaging 11.9 points with a team-high 7.6 boards.
  • SOU’s top scorer, Dominique Harding, is posting 12.9 points per game and is SOU’s second-leading rebounder (6.4). The sophomore guard has averaged 16.2 over SOU’s last five games. Among CCC players registering at least five makes per game, her 46-percent clip from the field ranks fifth.
  • Senior point guard Daranda Hinkey enters the weekend at No. 7 on SOU’s career 3-point makes list with 131, and she’s 35 assists away from becoming the 15th Raider to ever amass 250.
  • Kenadee Honaker ranks 10th in the NAIA and second in the CCC at 3.2 steals per game.
  • The Raiders are 10-4 since moving to Lithia Motors Pavilion last season. In Alex Carlson’s five years as head coach, they’re 48-7 at home.
  • They’ve forced 20-plus turnovers seven times and no fewer than 18 in any game.
  • The frontcourt rotation of three underclassmen — Bryanna Raff, Annika Riddell and Kami Walk — is shooting a combined 52 percent. Walk, a freshman, averages 8.4 points and five boards.
  • In five wins, the Raiders have hit 47 3-pointers combined. In four losses, they’ve hit 22.

About Eastern Oregon

  • Winners of three straight CCC championships — one of which they shared with SOU (2016-17) — the Mountaineers are operating without graduated NAIA Player of the Year Maya Ah You Dias but were still the preseason favorites to defend the title. They’ve taken all four of their losses on the road.
  • After coming off the bench last season, sophomore Beverly Slater has more than doubled her scoring average at 14.2 on a 56-percent clip from the field, while also leading the team at 9.1 rebounds. Jane Nelson, a CCC all-star last year, is adding 10.3 points with 21 3-point makes.
  • The Mountaineers are shooting 42 percent, holding their opponents to 36 percent, and rank sixth nationally in rebound margin (10.8).
  • They’re 47-42 all-time against SOU, having won seven straight in the series.

About College Of Idaho

  • Another rough preseason schedule led to a 1-7 start for the Yotes, but they’ve recovered to win three straight — defeating Warner Pac in overtime and Multnomah by 34 in their CCC openers. In the CCC preseason poll, they were picked fifth.
  • They returned two starters from last year’s team that advanced to the CCC Tournament semifinals under first-year coach Janis Beal. Senior guard Mackenzie Royce-Radford has been in double figures nine times and is carrying the scoring load at 13.7 points per game. No other Yote averages seven, and they’re shooting a collective 36 percent from the field.
  • The Raiders are 34-28 in the head-to-head series and had won 13 straight before the Yotes stole two games last year in Ashland, including a 73-70 decision in the CCC Tournament.

Southern Oregon University senior guard Delaney Sparling and the Raiders have played just one home game at Lithia Motors Pavilion entering this weekend's games against Eastern Oregon and College of Idaho (PHOTO BY: Al Case / Ashland Daily Photo)