Cougars prep to face Oregon Tech in first round

The University of Saint Francis will open the 2017 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship against Oregon Tech from the Cascade Collegiate Conference on Wed., March 8, at 1 p.m. Fort Wayne time.

Oregon Institute of Technology is located in Klamath Falls, Ore. OIT finished tied for second in the CCC with a 15-5 record. Northwest Christian University won the regular season CCC title with a 17-3 record and finished 24-5 losing to Corban 105-76 in the first round of the CCC Tournament.

This will be the third meeting between the two schools in the 32-team NAIA Championship. USF won the first game 75-67 against the No. 2 ranked Owls in the second round of the 2010 Championship, which USF went on to win. The two teams met again in 2012 and OIT won 100-67 in a quarterfinal matchup.

OT is 24-9 after dropping a 109-95 decision at home to the CCC Tournament No. 8 seed Corban on Tues., Feb. 28, in the tournament championship game. Justin Parnell is in his first season as head coach of the Owls after serving two years as an assistant coach and one as the associate head coach for the Hustlin’ Owls. He replaced Danny Miles, who coached the Owls from 1971-2016 compiling a record of 1,040-437.

Senior guard Joel Yellow Owl led OIT scoring averaging 20.3 ppg and was All-CCC First Team. He is 29th in NAIA scoring and 19th in points scored with 648.