KIRKLAND, Wash. - The NU Eagles overcame a 13 point second half deficit to defeat the #4 seeded College of Idaho, 69-67, to advance to the semifinals of the CCC post season tournament. Northwest was seeded #5 going into the game as the C of I won the tie breaker when the two teams finished the regular season in a tie for fourth place.
NU trailed by nine at the half, 34-25 as the C of I’s defense and cold shooting by the Eagles contributed to the low first half scoring. The Yotes came out in the second half and rattled off the first four points of the period to increase their lead to 13 points 38-25, as things weren’t looking good for the Eagles. But then NU would go on a 9-0 run started by McIntosh’s four point play, followed by a trey by Taylor Cliett and a jumper by McIntosh to make it 38-34 with 17:33 left in the game as the C of I would call a quick timeout. The Yotes would maintain a slim lead which Michael Russo would cut to two, 46-44 with his three pointer at the 12:24 mark. C of I would answer with a three to lead 49-44. Following an NU timeout, Nemanja Grujicic would get to the rim for a layup making it a 51-50 game with 9:11 to go as the Yotes clung to the lead. Ryan McIntosh would give the Eagles the lead 52-51 with 8:04 to go and Russo would take a Michael Greene pass for a layup to increase their lead to 54-51 (7:21). Greene would score on a layup cut to the basket to make it 56-51, but back would come the Yotes on a 4-0 run to cut the NU lead to 56-55 with 5:54 remaining in the game. C of I’s Taylor Pruett would make one of two free throws to tie the game at 56-all and Duncan Koga would hit a trey to give the lead back to C of I (3:45), 59-56. NU’s Greene hits two free throws and Ryan McIntosh comes up big with a trey, 61-59 Northwest with 2:40 to go. With just 44 seconds to go in the game, Michael Greene scored on another layup making it 69-55. Duncan Koga makes just one of two free throws with 35 seconds left, 69-66. With 11 seconds to go Michael Russo misses the front end of a 1 and 1 from the free throw line giving the ball back to the Yotes. With .8 seconds left in the game, Taylor Pruett is fouled by NU’s Nemanja Grujicic behind the 3 point line giving him a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime. Pruett makes the first, but misses the second as Michael Russo grabs the rebound as the buzzer sounds.
Ryan McIntosh stepped up with another big game for the Eagles (22-9) with 22 points hitting 58% of his shots. Michael Greene scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double while teammate Nemanja Grujicic had 12 points for the Eagles. NU shot 49% for the game and hit 10 of 23 three pointers for 43% shooting. The Eagles also out rebounded the Yotes 30-24.
“Our first half put us in a bit of a hole, but give credit to our guys for not giving in, fighting back and making the plays to pull out the victory,” said John Van Dyke, Eagle head coach. “Credit the College of Idaho’s defense in the first half; they had been one of the hottest teams in the league at the end of the season, so we knew we’d be in a battle tonight. We’ll enjoy the win tonight and then begin preparing for our next game.”
Northwest U. will meet Warner Pacific at 7 p.m. on Saturday night in Portland in the CCC semifinal.
Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Share on Facebook