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Yotes' bench plays big as College of Idaho wins seventh straight CCC tournament

The College of Idaho men's basketball team will host its first-round NAIA national tournament game.

CALDWELL, Idaho — Make it 30 in a row and counting for the College of Idaho men's basketball team this season.

The Yotes (30-1) extended a few noteworthy streaks Monday night in winning the 2023 Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament title game 87-56 against the Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers at the J.A. Albertson Activity Center.

Along with winning 30 consecutive games -- not losing since the Nov. 4 opener at Arizona Christian -- the C of I squad extended its home win streak to 36. Monday's win was the Yotes' seventh-straight CCC championship game victory.

The score was 41-30 in favor of the Yotes at halftime, and the home team rolled from there. With 17 points, including five 3-pointers, Wood River High alum Johnny Radford led the Yotes in scoring Monday. Drew Wyman scored 13 and Paul Wilson scored 12.

Radford and Wilson are both reserves. Bench players accounted for 51 of the Yotes' 87 points, and outscored Eastern Oregon's bench 51-20.

Wyman, a sophomore, was the lone C of I starter to score in double figures. He scored the Yotes' first points with a 3-pointer when Caden Handren dished a skip pass to Wyman. His second 3-pointer wiped out a brief 7-6 lead for Eastern Oregon and put the Yotes ahead for the rest of the night.

Freshman guard Samaje Morgan connected with sophomore Jake O'Neil, a Fruitland High alum, for a couple of scores, including an O'Neil dunk early in the second half.

Emmet Taylor III led Eastern Oregon in scoring with 13 points. Adam Orr added 10. The Yotes held the Mountaineers' top scorer for the season, Phillip Malatare, to a season-low 9 points.

Eastern Oregon (21-10) and the College of Idaho both advance to the NAIA National Tournament. The College of Idaho will host an opening-round game on Tuesday, March 7, at the J.A. Albertson Activity Center in Caldwell. Game time is to be determined.

More Yotes video: Members of the College of Idaho men's basketball team chat with KTVB's Jay Tust and Brady Frederick on the Feb. 26 edition of "Sunday Sports Extra."

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