SIOUX FALLS, Sd. (KMVT/KSVT) For the College of Idaho and Oregon Tech to meet in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament semi-finals, marked a rare occasion. The meeting represented just the second time in Cascade Conference history for member teams to face off in the semi's.
In the first seven minutes of the game, the Yotes either had the lead or within a possession. Then the Owls went on a mini-run.
C of I's Gibson Berryhill knocked down a three-pointer at the ten minute mark to cut the deficit to just two points. He came off the bench and filled some productive minutes with a 14-point outing.
But then the Yotes couldn't make the easy buckets under the hoop and Oregon Tech started to pull away.
Limited to just one point over the final ten minutes of the first half, C of I fell behind 52-29 at the break. The Owls shot 62.9% in the first half alone, while the Yotes made just 11 of 30 attempts for a 36.7% shooting percentage.
In the second half C of I improved a little better in scoring from the field, but still shot just 42.6% for the game.
The Yotes fell 93-81, falling in back-to-back semi-final games. Leading C of I, Nate Bruneel with 15 points, Talon Pinckney added 13 and Keun Palu-Thompson scored 12.
They couldn't stop Seth Erickson who had 27 points for Oregon Tech and Mitchell Fink, who boasted a double-double of 14 points and 12 assists. Kaison Faust came off the bench to score 19 points for the Owls.
Oregon Tech seeks its first national championship since 2012.