The C of I men’s basketball team hosted Oregon Tech in a Cascade Conference Tournament opener Tuesday night inside J.A. Albertson Activities Center. The Yotes came out aggressive as expected, but a few hiccups along the way—including poor free throw shooting and hot Oregon Tech shot making—kept the game close into the final minutes. In the end, the No. 6-ranked Yotes found enough juice to pull out a 71-64 victory and advance to the semifinals.
Click here to check out a photo gallery from the game on the C of I Flickr page.
C of I, now riding a 32-game home winning streak, hosts Eastern Oregon at 7 p.m. Saturday, with a trip to the CCC Championship game on the line.
On Tuesday, C of I coach Scott Garson implored his team to feed big man Joe Vaz in the post. Vaz, sporting a mask to protect a facial injury, responded by scoring several big baskets and drawing attention to allow more space his teammates to shoot. He finished with nine points on 4-of-4 shooting in just 12 minutes.
The Yotes’ defense fed several runs of momentum, but missed free throws (C of I finished 13-for-30 at the line) and some tough makes by Oregon Tech kept things tight on the scoreboard.
Brandon Bautista caught fire for OIT, helping the Owls take the lead midway through the second half. C of I senior guard Jordan O’Byrne, however, ensured the Yotes would come out on top, tossing in four 3-pointers while scoring a team-high 16 points. Sophomore guard Manny Morgan also made several big plays with his speed and tenacity, and OIT could not match the Yotes’ intensity down the stretch as C of I used sticky hands on defense and soft touch on offense to put the game away.
Senior guard Demetrius Perkins scored 11 points to go along with 12 rebounds, senior guard Syndey Donaldson added 10 points and senior post Marko Kovacevic finished with nine points and 13 rebounds for the Yotes (26-5).
For more C of I basketball coverage, visit www.yoteathletics.com.
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. The C of I has a legacy of academic excellence, a winning athletics tradition and a history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars and 14 Marshall, Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.
Story by C of I student reporter Corbin Meyer