KIRKLAND, Wash. – It was voted the NAIA Game of the Week and it lived up to all its billing as No. 1 ranked Eastern Oregon held on for a 75-71 Cascade Conference victory over No. 15 Northwest University tonight in the NU Pavilion.
Down by one at half, 38-37, the Mountaineers from LaGrande, Oregon, outscored Northwest 38-33 in the second half for the win. Aided by 54% shooting in the first half, Northwest would hold the lead until the 5 minute mark. NU’s Ryan McIntosh would hit a jumper to put the Eagles up 28-25 with 7 minutes left in the half, but Zach Anderson would answer for Eastern Oregon with a jumper to cut the lead to 28-27 at the 6:27 mark. Craig Tucker would give EOU their first lead of the game, 30-28, with his 3 pointer with 5:54 showing on the clock. Killian Wood would increase the EOU lead to seven, 37-30 with a free throw with 2:05 remaining, but Northwest would go on an 8-0 to end the half and head to the locker room with a narrow 38-37 lead.
The second half would see the teams trade baskets and the lead in the early going. With the game tied for the fifth time at 56-all with 12:48 remaining, Eastern Oregon would take command with a 9-2 run capped off by a Craig Tucker trey at the 9:51 mark and give EOU a 65-58 lead. EOU would maintain a slim lead, but a Ryan McIntosh free throw would pull NU to within 4, 73-69, with 2:28 to go. 20 seconds later McIntosh would sink two more free throws to make it a two point, 73-71 game (2:11). Northwest would get two more opportunities to score, but would fail to score in the final minutes as Jason Mumm’s short jumper in the lane would clinch the win for Eastern Oregon with 18 seconds to go in the game.
Northwest U. (19-5, 9-3 CCC) was led by Ryan McIntosh’s game high 26 points and 8 rebounds while Michael Greene scored 15 points and grabbed 7 rebounds for the Eagles. NU cooled down in the second half shooting 36% and 44% for the game. Michael Russo added 9 points for the Eagles.
Eastern Oregon (22-1, 11-1 CCC) had four players in double figures led by Craig Tucker’s 12 points. Guard Cody Thurmond added 11 points, while Michael Crane and Jason Mumm each had 10 for the Mountaineers who shot 46% for the night. While only shooting 23% from 3 point range and 57% from the free throw line, they out rebounded Northwest 40-36 including 16 offensive rebounds to maintain their place as one of the top rebounding teams in the NAIA.
“Eastern Oregon showed they’re worthy of the No. 1 ranking tonight, but I’m extremely proud of the way our guys battled and hung in there until the very end,” stated John Van Dyke. “Eastern’s depth make them such a strong team and they have a number of players who can score. We’ll rebound and get ready for the College of Idaho tomorrow night.”
Both teams continue play tomorrow night as Northwest U. will host the College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon travels to Olympia, Wash., to take on Evergreen. Both games tip off at 7:30 p.m.
Posted on Friday, January 25, 2013 Share on Facebook