EOU edges C of I by a point, both heading to NAIA Tourney

LA GRANDE, Ore. - Brooke Randall buried an off-balanced 15-foot runner with 22 seconds to play to break a 66-66 tie, as Eastern Oregon rallied to defeat The College of Idaho, 69-68, in the CCC Championships final at Quinn Coliseum.

The No. 3 ranked Mountaineers (31-2) won for the 25th-straight time, but needed an 8-0 run in the final two minutes to defeat the rival Coyotes. The Lady Yotes (21-8) took a 66-61 lead with 2:34 on a Katelin Shannon free throw, but a Jorie Freeman lay-up and a long Kelsea Hurliman three with 1:21 to go got Eastern even. After a defensive stop, Randall, came off a screen at the top of the key, drove to the left elbow and splashed the runner to give the hosts the lead.

The C of I had a chance, but Shannon missed a contested lay-up with seven seconds left. After Nicole Redd split a pair of free throws, Felicity Jones had a chance to tie, but missed a long trey, with Chakala Carthen laying the ball in at the horn to cap the scoring.

Dayna Drager had all 11 of her points in the first half, hitting 3-of-3 three-pointers, as the Yotes led 31-30 at the break. EOU would take their largest lead of the second half at 43-37, before Jones scored eight points in a 12-1 run to give C of I a 49-44 lead, a margin that would stretch to 61-53 with 5:51 to go - but the visitors could not hold on.

Hurliman led EOU with 17 points, with Randall and Freeman each scoring 15 for the Mounties, who won despite just five offensive rebounds in the game.

Laura Geis led the Yotes with 15 points, with Carthen adding 12 points and 10 rebounds. Shannon had seven points, eight rebounds, ans six assists for The C of I.

Both team have secured berths in the NAIA Division II National Championships, with the first-round match-ups set to be announced on Wednesday afternoon.