OLYMPIA, Wash. - The NU Eagles withstood a second half comeback and a three point shot barrage by Evergreen to squeeze out a 94-89 victory in double overtime in the CCC opener for both teams tonight.
After taking a fairly comfortable 32-20 lead into the locker room at the half, the Eagles would be challenged in the second half as Evergreen would hit 15 of 28 three point shots including a pair of four point plays by ESC’s KJ Hong.
It looked as though the Eagles would cruise to their 10th win of the season as Michael Russo’s free throw would put NU up by 14 points, 35-21, just a minute into the second half. But KJ Hong would hit a trey and would be fouled on the play and would sink his free throw to pull ESC to within 6 points, with 14:49 on the clock. Michael Russo would answer with a 3 pointer of his own, but Hong would hit another 3 pointer and would be fouled on the next play. He would complete the four point play with his made free throw, cutting NU’s lead to 6 once again, 41-35. Michael Greene would hit 2 of his 32 points at the 8:02 mark to put NU up ten, 60-50 and Russo and Ryan McIntosh would hit four straight free throws to give Northwest a 64-52 lead with 5:54 to go in regulation. Evergreen would then hit four straight 3 pointers as Travis Wagner would drill the fourth to bring ESC to within four, 65-61, at the 4:20 mark. Wagner would then hit s big trey with 51 seconds remaining to give Evergreen the lead, 71-70. Russo would then answer with a clutch 3 pointer and a free throw to complete the four point play as the Eagles would regain the lead, 74-71, with 38 seconds showing on the clock. NU’s McIntosh would put NU up by three, 76-73 with 16 seconds to go with his free throws, but Wagner would hit another three with a hand in his face with 10 seconds to go to tie the score at 76-all and send the game into the first overtime.
Michael Greene would sink two free throws with 2 seconds remaining in the first overtime to put NU up 83-81 for what seemed like the win. But, after a time out, Evergreen would advance the ball into their half court and call another time out. On the inbound pass, with 1.8 seconds to go, Greene would knock the ball out of bounds. With .8 seconds to go, a lob pass into the lane to Elzie Dickens for the basket would knot the score at 83-all as the buzzer would sound, sending the game into the second extra period.
NU would turn the ball over to start the period and Elzie Dickens would score once again to give ESC the lead, 85-83. After Greene would hit one of two free throws, Dickens again would come through with a score in the paint to increase the Geoduck lead to 3, 87-74 with 3:41 remaining. After a Wagner missed trey attempt, Greene would score down low giving the Eagles the 88-87 lead and put NU ahead for good with 2:35 to go. ESC would fail to make a field goal in the remaining 2:35 as Greene’s two free throws with 8 seconds remaining would seal the victory.
Greene led Northwest U. (10-2, 1-0 CCC) with his game high 32 points and added 13 rebounds for the double-double. Michael Russo score 26 points and Brett Skogstad came off the bench to score 11 key points on the night. NU shot 42% and 72% from the free throw line while winning the battle of the rebounds, 46-36.
Travis Wagner scored 23 points for Evergreen (1-5, 0-1 CCC) including 7 of 13 shooting from the 3 point line. KJ Hong had 20 points and Elzie Dickens contributed 14 for the Geoducks who shot 45% for the game. ESC hit 54% of their 3 point attempts going 15 for 28.
“It’s always good to get a road win in our conference,” commented John Van Dyke, Eagle head coach. “We got a little banged up during the game and Evergreen really shot the ball well down the stretch. Fortunately, we hit some big free throws in crunch time and were able to close it out.”
NU will host Quest University in the Pavilion next Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader with the Eagle women. It will be a non-conference contest.
Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 Share on Facebook