Derek Evans hits a shot over a Westminster defender. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Oregon Tech connected on 55.6% from the field in the second half, and Derek Evans led the way with a team–high 17 points, as the Hustlin’ Owls improved to 4-3 on the season with a 78-70 win over Westminster in the final game of the Midland Empire Insurance Classic.
The teams went back-and-forth throughout the first period before a Duncan Schramm 3-pointer broke a 31-31 tie, the seventh of the first half, to help the Owls close out the opening period on a 6-3 spurt to take a 37-34 lead into intermission.
Still clinging to a three point advantage, 47-44, Tech’s Austen Flint and Kyle Waits hit short jumpers, while a Mihajlo Matic trey spurred a 10-0 Owl run to give the home team a 54-44 lead with 11:17 remaining.
Westminster got to within striking distance with a 15-7 burst to close to within 61-59 over the next three minutes, and it stayed tight to the end.
The Owls, still up two points, 67-65 with 3:31 to play, got a Brandon Bautista score and Westminster never got closer. A Josh Johnson triple on Tech’s next possession pushed the Owls out to a 72-65 lead with two minutes remaining.
Tech would go up by nine points, eventually winning by an eight point margin, 78-70.
Derek Evans recorded 17 points to go with five rebounds and three assists with Brandon Bautista adding 15 points and eight assists. Austen Flint notched 13 points and Kyle Waits nine in the win for Tech.
Blake Skidmore scored a game-high 18 points to lead Westminster, followed by 10 each from Tallon Robertson, Jordan Hamilton and Nick Jenson.