For just a few minutes, the Umpqua Community College men’s basketball team looked like it was in for a fight.

But a strong finish to the first half propelled the host Riverhawks to a 95-45 victory over the University of Oregon’s club team Friday night at the UCC gym in Winchester.

Sophomore Cameron Benzel scored 10 of his 22 points in the final eight minutes of the first half, keying a 25-6 run to help Umpqua pull away.

The Riverhawks raced to a 20-5 lead in the first six minutes, but Oregon’s Quintin Thomas and Jacob Murdoch led a rally which pulled the visitors into a 24-24 tie with 8:41 left in the first half.

“They played pretty well in that first half to catch up,” Umpqua coach Daniel Leeworthy said of his opponents’ rally.

Four Riverhawks scored in double figures, with Benzel leading all scorers with 22 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the floor. Starters Kolten Mortensen and Cody Fredrickson added 18 and 11, respectively, and Akoi Yout chipped in 15 off the bench.

Point guard Brock Gilbert dished 13 assists for Umpqua, which had 28 assists as a team. The Riverhawks shot 59.7 percent from the floor and scored 60 of its 95 points in the lane.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but I think we played hard on the defensive end (10 steals, 43 defensive rebounds) and we shared the ball well,” Leeworthy said. “We’ve got a lot of unselfish players and that’s been one of our strengths.”

The Riverhawks’ next test will come when they host the Multnomah University junior varsity at 5 p.m. on Monday. The Lions, who largely play against Northwest Athletic Conference competition, play a run-and-gun style which consistently yields around 80 points per game. But, they have given up an average of 137.5 points in games against Clackamas, Southwestern Oregon, Chemeketa and Lower Columbia of Longview, Washington.

“They like to press a lot, and we’ve struggled against that,” Leeworthy said. “We’re excited for Monday and the challenge they are going to bring.”

After Monday, the Riverhawks will be idle until the first weekend of December, when they will open the Dale Bates Invitational against the same Multnomah squad at Lane Community College in Eugene.

OREGON CLUB (45) — Quintin Thomas 6-14 0-0 17, Murdoch 2-10 2-2 7, Frison 0-5 0-0 0, O’Dea 3-8 1-1 8, Perepelitza 0-5 0-3 0, Ysen 2-5 2-2 6, Cade 1-5 0-0 3, Thomas 0-2 0-0 0, Weil 1-6 0-0 2, Spiegler 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 0-3 2-2 2. Totals 15-64 7-10 45.

UMPQUA (95) — Cameron Benzel 10-12 2-2 22, Gilbert 1-2 0-0 2, Lungren 3-7 0-0 8, Fredrickson 5-8 0-0 11, Mortensen 9-11 0-0 18, Perry 2-4 2-3 6, Quinton 0-3 1-2 1, Campbell 2-6 0-0 4, Love 0-2 3-4 3, Ugodo 0-0 0-2 0, Wood 0-3 2-2 2, Yout 7-8 0-1 15, Hubbard 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 40-67 10-16 95.

Halftime — UCC 49, OC 30. 3-Point Goals — OC 8-38 (Thomas 5-11, Murdock 1-4, Frison 0-4, O’Dea 1-4, Perepelitza 0-4, Ysen 0-2, Cade 1-3, Weil 0-3, Williams 0-3), UCC 5-13 (Lungren 2-4, Fredrickson 1-1, Mortensen 0-1, Perry 0-1, Quinton 0-2, Wood 0-2, Yout 1-1, Hubbard 1-1). Total Fouls — OC 17, UCC 15. Rebounds ‑ OC 19, UCC 58. Assists — OC 8 (Thomas 3), UCC 28 (Gilbert 13). Turnovers — OC 14, UCC 15.

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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