KIRKLAND, Wash. – In the battle of two nationally ranked NAIA teams, No. 14 Warner Pacific held No. 21 Northwest 11 points below their average as they defeated the Eagles, 77-65, tonight in Cascade Conference play.
Warner Pacific led from start to finish tonight as they would post a 14-5 lead early in the first half as Doug Thomas would sink two free throws with 14 minutes to play in the half. Northwest would answer with a 7-0 run capped off by Michael Greene’s layup in the paint to make it 14-12. WPC’s Stephen Harris would increase the Knight lead to 8, 23-15 with 11 minutes left in the period and WPC would maintain that margin the remainder of the half until Michael Greene would score with 26 seconds left in the half to make it a six point, 35-29 difference as the buzzer sounded. Warner Pac’s pressing defense and half court zone would limit NU to 37% shooting (12-32) while they hit a blazing 14 of 22 for 64%.
The Knights would continue their hot hand in the second half as they would drill 55% of their shots while NU would cool to 10 for 32 shooting for 32%. With Warner Pac leading by six, 41-35, and 17:16 showing on the clock, they would go on a 10-0 run which would begin with a Ryan Parks’ 3 pointer and capped off by Doug Thomas’ jump shot to make it 51-35 with 13 minutes left in the game. Northwest U. would find it difficult to close the margin as the Knights would maintain a 12-14 point lead the rest of the way. Ryan McIntosh would cut the lead to 11 points, 62-51 (6:42), but Josh Black would answer right back for the Knights with his trey as they would go on to record their 14th win of the season.
Michael Greene led the way for Northwest U. (14-4, 4-2 CCC) with a game high 21 points and adding 8 rebounds. Ryan McIntosh would come off the bench to add 14 points and Nemanja Grujicic would come down with a game high 10 rebounds, 7 offensive rebounds. The Eagles managed 25% shooting from 3 point distance hitting only 8 of 32 attempts.
Warner Pacific (14-4, 5-1 CCC) was led by Doug Thomas’ 19 points. Three other Knights scored in double figures: Ryan Parks with 16 points; Stephen Harris 13 points; and Coletun Tarr contributed 10 points. WPC out rebounded Northwest U. 33-30 and shot 59% for the night, 39% from beyond the 3 point line (7-18).
“Warner Pacific was the better team tonight,” commented John Van Dyke, NU head coach. “We couldn’t hit shots we usually make, but credit goes to the Knights for their defense and covering our shooters. We have to improve defensively, and I’m confident we will. Our guys are resilient, and we’ll bounce back and be ready for Concordia tomorrow night.”
Northwest U. and Warner Pacific continue league play tomorrow night as NU plays host to Concordia and Warner Pac travels south to Olympia to play Evergreen with both games starting at 7:30 p.m.
Posted on Friday, January 4, 2013 Share on Facebook