Wolves headed for Region final

Umpua, Portland, Linn-Benton reach NWAC Final Four
Staff report

After scoring a season-low 21 first half points, No. 3-ranked Western Oregon University used a 3-point barrage after the break to defeat Saint Martin's University, 77-55, in the semifinals of the NCAA Div. II West Region Tournament on Saturday.

With the win, Western Oregon (31-1) advances to the championship game where it will face California Baptist (27-5) Monday. CBU, ranked No. 21 in the latest NABC Coaches' Poll, defeated Azusa Pacific, 72-68, in the first semifinal contest inside the New P.E. Gymnasium.

Western Oregon will carry a 24-game winning streak into the title game. Saint Martin's season ends with a 25-8 overall record. The Saints went 15-4 over their last 19 games with all four losses against Western Oregon, including in the GNAC championship last week in Anchorage.

The Wolves won the regional two years ago, when it was played on its campus, and won its first game at the Elite Eight to advance to the national semifinals.


The Portland Panthers scored a blowout in their Elite Eight match-up with Spokane and advanced to the Final Four in action from Sunday in Everett, Wash.

Linn-Benton scored an upset of defending tournament champion Walla Walla Sunday.

Umpqua, unbeaten on the season, shot the lights out and played into the women's Final Four. 

All Final Four games will also be played in Everett, Saturday and Sunday.

Portland beat Spokane 93-65, and will play Northern Idaho, which won its game Sunday 112-110 in double overtime, Saturday at 4 p.m.

Linn-Benton beat Walla Walla 84-75 and will play Peninsula Saturday at 2 p.m. The final is Sunday.

Umpqua beat Columbia Basin 93-66 Friday in its Elite Eight game, and will play Bellevue at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Riverhawks made 77 percent of their field-goal attempts, and got 46 points and 12 rebounds from sophomore center Dajanay Powell.

Big Bend will play Walla Walla in the other women's Final Four game.


The Portland State Vikings were rewarded on Sunday for having one of their finest Division I basketball seasons when they were selected to take part in the Post-season Tournament. The Vikings will await their opponent from Monday's first-round CIT games (see schedule below) and play at a location and on a day later this week to be determined.
The Vikings went 20-13 on the year, marking their third-best season in their 22-year history in the Big Sky Conference. PSU was knocked out of the Big Sky Conference Tournament last week by Big Sky-finalist Eastern Washington, eliminating their chances of an NCAA Tournament bid. However, the CIT bid marks the seventh time in its 57-season basketball history that Portland State has received a national post-season bid, and the second time PSU has been picked for the CIT (NAIA in 1955 and 1956; NCAA College Division in 1967; NCAA Division I Tournament in 2008 and 2009; CIT in 2014 and 2018).



Eastern, Southern, Ducks wind down

Oregon's loss at Pac-12 likely blows NCAA Tourney shot
Staff report

The stellar women's basketball season for Eastern Oregon University closed down Friday, as it did for Southern Oregon as well, at the NAIA Div. II Tournament in Sioux Falls, Iowa.

The Mountaineers had their 25-game win streak snapped with a 83-60 loss to Northwestern College in the second round. EOU shot just 37 percent from the field and ended it season as the sixth-ranked team in the nation and with a 31-3 overall record.

Southern Oregon lost 76-61 to Dakota Wesleyan, S.D., Friday as well, in a game they couldn't take advantage of forcing 36 turnovers. The Raiders were outscored 43-30 in the second half and finished as the No. 10 team in the nation at 28-5.

The Oregon Ducks ran out of gas in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Conference men's basketball tournament in Las Vegas Friday, losing to USC 74-54, dropping to 22-12 overall. The Ducks will await Sunday's announcement of the NCAA tournament field.

Portland State lost 102-99 to Idaho in the semifinals of the Big Sky women's basketball tournament Friday in Reno, Nev., to finish its season at 19-13.


Oregon reaches another Pac-12 semifinal

FRIDAY 4CAST: Pac-12 men, NAIA women, WOU, Blazers
Staff report

Oregon's Elijah Brown made seven 3-point shots and the Ducks rallied from 11 points down to beat Utah 68-66 Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Conference men's basketball tournament in Las Vegas.

The win moves the Ducks, 22-11, to the semifinals, and a game against Southern Cal at 8:30 p.m. The game will be carried live by FoxSports1.

Oregon trailed until 1:08 remained when MiKyle McIntosh, who scored 18 points, converted a three-point play to reach the final score and the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year.

The Ducks' Kenny Wooten blocked a lay-up attempt in the closing seconds to preserve the win.

USC beat Oregon State Thursday.

Oregon held Utah to just four free throws in the final five minutes of the game.

Top-seeded Arizona plays fourth-seed UCLA in the other semifinal at 6 p.m.

Oregon State, which beat Washington in overtime Wednesday, got outscored 34-14 in the paint and steadily fell behind on the way to a 61-48 loss to the third-seeded Trojans.

Stephen Thompson, Jr., scored 12 points to lead the Beavers, who ended their season at 16-16.


Eastern Oregon and Southern Oregon both play in the second round of the NAIA Div. II women's basketball national championship tournament today.

Eastern Oregon dominated the second half of its game Thursday, and beat Reinhardt, Ga., 82-53. The Mountaineers won the second half 37-12. Eastern finished 10-of-19 from 3-point territory and had all five of its starters reach double figures led by Mariah Swanson with 19 points.

The Mountaineers play Northwestern, Iowa, at 1:30 p.m. today, directly after Southern Oregon plays.

Southern Oregon, which won Wednesday in the 64-team tournament, plays Dakota Wesleyan, N.D., at 11:45 a.m. The Raiders reached the national title game in 2016.

ALSO, Portland State's women's team plays Idaho in the Big Sky Conference tournament quarterfinals today at 2:35 p.m., in Reno, Nev.


Western Oregon will carry a 22-game win streak into the NCAA Div. II West Regional men's basketball tournament today on its home court in Monmouth. The Wolves, 29-1, play Point Loma, Calif., at 7:30 p.m. at the New PE Gymnasium. 



With an eight-game win streak going, the Portland Trail Blazers play host to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors at the Moda Center at 7 p.m.

Damian Lillard scored 39 points in Portland's blowout win over the New York Knicks Tuesday, and is scoring better than 26 points per game on the season.

Portland, 39-26, is just a half-game ahead of New Orleans, which has won 10 straight, with Golden State at 51-14 and a half-game behind Houston in the race for the best record in the league. Houston, 51-13, has won 17 straight games, while the Warriors, 51-14, have won seven straight.


The Portland Winterhawks play host to the Tri-City Americans at 6 p.m. Saturday and will honor the '98 Memorial Cup champions squad with a Hall of Fame induction for five of the key members: Marian Hossa, Andrew Ference, Brendan Morrow, Todd Robinson and Marty Standish, who plan to attend. The Hawks play host to Everett Sunday at 5 p.m.

The Portland Timbers head to New York for a Saturday game against the Red Bulls. The Timbers lost their season opener in Los Angeles 2-1 against the Galaxy in coach Giovanni Savarese's first game with the team.

High schools reach the title game for Class 5A, and 6A and 4A will play semifinals throughout the afternoon - the Portland Interscholastic League fielding three of the four boys semifinalists for the first time. Top-seeded Marist and No. 2 La Salle will play for the 5A girls title at 3:15 p.m., while defending champion Wilsonville takes on third-seeded Thurston, a first-time title game participant, in the boys final at 8:15. 


Banks, which has not won a boys or girls title, plays in both the boys and girls semifinals. 


ALL THREE BOYS TOURNAMENT had one league dominate the semifinals. Beyond the PIL in Class 6A, the 5A semis had three teams from the Midwestern League: Churchill, Thurston and Crater, and the 4A tourney has three teams from the Cowapa League: Seaside, Valley Catholic and Banks.






Eastern begins national tournament play

Southern Oregon wins its opening game, NWC's season ends
By Cliff Pfenning,

Eastern Oregon's spectacular season hits the national stage today as the Mountaineers play in the first round of the 64-team NAIA Div. II women's basketball national tournament in Sioux Fall, Iowa.

Eastern plays Reinhardt, Ga., at 8:15 a.m. The game will be streamed across

Junior guard Maya Ah You-Dias earned Player of the Year in the Cascade Conference, senior Stormee Van Belle earned Defensive Player of the Year, and coach Anji Weissenfluh was named Coach of the Year after the team finished 30-2 and is ranked No. 4 nationally.

You-Dias averaged 17.1 points per game and shot better than 49 percent from the field.

Senior Payton Parrish was also named to the 12-person all-conference first team.

Eastern Oregon hasn't lost since Nov. 25.


The Raiders' Remi Mejia went off for 28 points and Southern to a 77-66 win over Antelope Valley, Calif., in the final game of the day.

Mejia hit 10-of-19 shots from the field and grabbed seven rebounds in a game-high 31 minutes of action. Toria Bradford added 16 and Ariel Augustine had 11 for Southern, which forced 30 turnovers on the way to improving to 30-4 on the season.

The Raiders advanced to play Dakota Wesleyan, N.D., (28-6) Friday.


The Beacons led throughout until Taylor, Ind., hit a 3-pointer with 4:29 left and went on to win 61-54.

Morgan McKinney led a trio of NWC players in double figures with 19 points, but the Beacons got outshot at the free-throw-line 19-4, outscored 22-10 in the fourth quarter and finished the season at 23-7.



Wolves get DII game plan

SMALL COLLEGES: Western Oregon gets regional, Div. III, NAIA, NWAC
By Cliff Pfenning,

Western Oregon won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball title Saturday with a dominating performance over St. Martin's, and will play host to the NCAA Div. II Western Regional beginning Friday in Monmouth.

The Wolves improved to 29-1 with their 65-55 win in the conference final in Alaska, Anchorage, will play Point Loma, Calif., 21-9, at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the fourth game of the eight-team regional's quarterfinal.

St. Martin's, which finished third in the GNAC's regular season, also qualified for the regional, and will play Cal-Poly Pomona at 5 p.m.

In the other games, UC San Diego plays Cal Baptist at noon, and Azusa Pacific plays PacWest conference champion Dixie State at 2:30 p.m.

The region winner advances to the Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 20-23.


The Bruins' season came to an end Saturday with an 82-58 loss to No. 2 Wartburg in the NCAA Div. III tournament at Waverly, Iowa.

George Fox, ranked 12th, led 9-8, but the unbeaten Knights put together a 23-3 run the remainder of the first quarter and effectively decided the outcome. The Bruins, who beat St. Benedict in the first round Friday, finished their season 25-4, and with their 25th-consecutive winning season.


The Mountainers, Raiders and Beacons begin play in the 64-team NAIA Div. II national tournament Wednesday in differing regions of the 64-team tournament.

Eastern Oregon, which beat Southern in the Cascade Conference tournament final, earned the No. 2 seed in one region and plays Reinhardt, Ga., Thursday in the first round at 10 a.m. PST. Southern and NWC, play their openers Wednesday in differing regions.

Southern, its region's third seed, plays Antelope Valley, Calif., at 7:15 p.m., while Northwest Christian, the third-place finisher from the CCC, drew a fifth seed and plays Taylor, Ind., at 11:45 a.m.

The tournament plays out entirely in Sioux City, Iowa, with the final set for March 13.


The 16-team men's and women's brackets begin Saturday with games at Everett Community College, and Portland's men and Umpqua's women drew top seeds when the fields were announced.

Second-ranked Portland plays Bellevue, Wash., at 6 p.m. Clackamas, Linn-Benton and Chemeketa were placed in other regions of the tournament, which plays out over two weekends.

Unbeaten Umpqua begins the women's tournament at 10 a.m. on Thursday, also at Everett, Wash. Mt. Hood, Clackamas and Lane play first-round games Thursday with the winner's advancing to the Elite 8 Friday. The Final Four and title game is set for March 17-18 in Everett.




Off to the NCAA!

MONDAY 4CAST: Oregon women, Pac-12 men, Blazers, Winterhawks
Staff report

Oregon's fabulous season continued to get better Sunday as the women's basketball team beat Stanford and won the Pac-12 Conference Tournament for the first time.

Sabrina Ionescu had a career game at the right time, scoring 36 points in 38 minutes to lead the 77-57 win over the Cardinal at Key Arena.

Oregon, ranked sixth in the nation, trailed early, but led 18-17 after the first quarter and steadily pulled away to improve to 30-4 overall. The win avenged a 78-65 loss to Stanford in Eugene in February - the team's last loss.

Ionescu, who ended up as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, scored 14 of Oregon's points in the first quarter and equaled Stanford's 17 points by scoring a three-point play to start the second quarter.

Next up, the Ducks head to the NCAA Tournament, which will be announced Monday, March 12, at 4 p.m. The West Regional is set to be played in Spokane, Wash.


Oregon and Oregon State got paired with the Washington schools for the conference tournament, which begins Wednesday in Las Vegas.

The Ducks, who beat Washington for their 20th win Saturday night, take on Washington State.

Oregon State takes on Washington in one of the other three first-round games.

Conference champion Arizona, USC, Utah and UCLA earned the first-round byes. Oregon, seeded sixth, will play Utah with a win. Oregon State, seeded 10th, would play USC.


Portland takes its six-game win streak to Los Angeles to take on the streaking Lakers having played all the way to the third seed in the Western Conference over the weekend.

With its win over Oklahoma City Saturday, Portland is 37-26 and a half-game ahead of New Orleans and Minnesota in the conference standings. The Blazers, though, are just two games ahead of eighth-place Denver.


The Portland Winterhawks scored a pair of home wins over the weekend, and now travel to Prince George, B.C., for games Tuesday and Wednesday night before returning home for a pair of games Friday and Saturday.





Vikings send seniors off with W

PSU heads to Big Sky Tournament with an overtime win
By Cliff Pfenning,

PORTLAND - Portland State's four seniors ... and the cheer team that supported them - got a thrilling send-off from home games Saturday with a 97-90 over North Dakota State in the regular season finale for both teams at the Pamplin Sports Complex.

PSU outscored the Fighting Siuox 16-9 in overtime to finish the regular season at 19-12 overall and will play in the first round of the Big Sky Conference tournament Tuesday.

Senior Bryce Canda hit four 3-point shots and led the Vikings with 24 points.



Ducks shooting on fire

SATURDAY 4CAST: Oregon women's basketball, Blazers, men's hoop, WOU
Staff report

Oregon moved a step closer to its first Pac-12 Conference Tournament final by setting a tournament record for 3-pointers with 13 in an 84-47 rout of Colorado Friday.

The No. 8 Ducks had a 22-0 scoring run in midgame and were never challenged - leading by 51 at one point.

Oregon plays fourth-seeded UCLA in its semifinal today at 6 p.m.

Oregon State fell 57-51 to Arizona State and has the remainder of the weekend off.

ASU will play Stanford in the other semifinal following Oregon-UCLA.

While Oregon will be looking to reach the final for the first time, Stanford - the defending champion - has won 12 of the 16 tournament finals.


A 108-99 win over visiting Minnesota moved the Portland Trail Blazers a game closer to third place in the Western Conference and extended their win streak to five.

Damian Lillard scored 35 points after missing his first seven shots, and CJ McCollum added 19 for Portland, which is just 0.5 games behind Minnesota in the race for third place in the West. The Blazers trailed 78-75 entering the fourth quarter, but outscored Minnesota 33-21 the rest of the way and split their four-game series at 2-all.

There are three other teams within a game of the Timberwolves in the tightly-knit conference race, which includes three other teams battling for a playoff spot.

Portland plays host to Oklahoma City - one of the third-place hopefuls - Saturday.


Both the Oregon and Oregon State men's basketball teams lost by a basket Thursday night to rivals in Washington and finish their regular season today.

The Ducks, who swept the Arizona schools last weekend at home, fell 78-76 at Washington State, while the Beavers lost 79-77 at Washington.

Oregon plays at Washington in Seattle, while Oregon State plays at Washington State.


Western Oregon's men's basketball team won its 21st-straight game Friday, 98-70, over Seattle Pacific, and plays St. Martin's in the championship game of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament today at Alaska-Anchorage University. The Wolves won both games between the teams during the regular season. The tournament leads into the NCAA Div. II Western Region next week.


Ducks, Beavs get playoffs moving

Oregon, Oregon State open Pac-12 Tournament
Staff report

Touted as the "Wonder Women" all season by its athletic staff, the University of Oregon women's basketball team has played up to that level by winning the Pac-12 Conference title for the first time in nearly 20 years.

But, that was the regular season. Crunch time begins today with a quarterfinal game in the conference tournament in Las Vegas.

Oregon plays Colorado at 11:30 a.m.

In-state rival Oregon State plays Arizona State at 8:30 p.m.

The Ducks reached the semifinals of the tournament last season before losing to Stanford.

Oregon State, which won the regular season title last year, reached the tournament final before losing to Stanford.

Stanford has won the conference tournament 12 times in its 16 years, including twice in the past three years when OSU won or tied for the regular-season crown. OSU won two seasons ago.

Oregon has yet to win the tournament.

The Ducks feature the season's Player of the Year in sophomore Sabrina Ionescu, and forward Ruthie Hebard, who set an NCAA record for consecutive made field-goal attempts at 33 late in the season. Both were named as candidates for national Player of the Year as point guard and forward, respectively.



Streaking Eastern nabs CCC awards

George Fox to Iowa for NCAAs, Western lines up
By Cliff Pfenning,

Eastern Oregon won the Cascade Conference women's basketball title completely Monday by beating Southern Oregon in the tournament after going unbeaten during the regular season. Tuesday, conference coaches rewarded the Mountaineers' efforts with awards, handing three key awards to EOU.

Junior guard Maya Ah You-Dias earned Player of the Year, senior Stormee Van Belle earned Defensive Player of the Year, and coach Anji Weissenfluh was named Coach of the Year after the team finished 30-2 and ranked No. 4 nationally.

You-Dias averaged 17.1 points per game and shot better than 49 percent from the field.

Senior Payton Parrish was also named to the 12-person conference all-first team.

Next up, the team travels to Sioux City, Iowa, for the NAIA National Tournament, which begins Tuesday.

Eastern Oregon hasn't lost since Nov. 25.


George Fox punched its ticket to the NCAA Div. III women’s basketball tournament with a 60-50 win over Willamette in the Northwest Conference final Saturday - its third conference title in the past four years, and will play as many as two games in Iowa.

The Bruins travel to Waverly, Iowa, for the first-round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament, which features 64 teams just as the Div. I tournament does. The Bruins will face Saint Benedict of St. Joseph, Minn., in the first round, with a game against either host Wartburg or Webster Saturday.

George Fox is making its 14th trip to the tournament, having won the title in 2009. It reached the Final 8 two seasons ago. Senior Kaitlin Jamieson, a 6-3 senior from Forest Grove, leads the team at 11.9 points per game.

George Fox won the national title in 2009, and reached the Sweet 16 in 2015 and ‘16.


Warner Pacific played into the Cascade Conference Tournament finale Tuesday, but fell 75-73 at College of Idaho and missed an automatic berth into the NAIA national tournament.

Xavier Kannefax scored 23 points to lead the Knights, and Collin Malcolm added 21.


Western Oregon ran its win streak to 20 games Saturday, and is headed to the conference tournament as the men’s top seed for the third time in four years. The Wolves improved to 27-1 overall with a 77-52 win over Simon Fraser and earned a first-round bye in the tournament, which begins Thursday at Alaska-Anchorage. Western Oregon lost only to Western Washington (21-7), which earned the other first-round bye. Western Washington beat Western Oregon in the final of last year’s tournament.


Portland’s 107-78 win over Lane Saturday secured the Southern Division title, with Linn-Benton nabbing second place and an automatic berth in the conference tournament via its 101-94 win over Mt. Hood Saturday.

Clackamas (8-6 in division play), Chemeketa (7-7) and Umpqua (7-7) will all be dueling this week for the final two spots in the 16-team bracket scheduled to be played over two weekends in Everett, Wash.

Top-ranked Umpqua remained unbeaten in women’s play at 27-0 with the Southern Division’s four tournament teams having been determined: Lane, Clackamas and Mt. Hood joining the Riverhawks.

The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 will be played March 8-11, then the Final Four for both men and women March 17-18.


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