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Geoducks Finish Off Red Raiders Despite Late Rally

January 25, 2003

by Devin Jones

ASHLAND, OR -- Just as expected, the Geoducks rebounded from their loss to #1 ranked Oregon Tech on Friday night, and came out ready to play Saturday against the Southern Oregon Red Raiders.

Despite being outscored 62-44 in the second half, Evergreen was able to hold on to a three-point victory, 98-95, after building a 21 point first half lead.

The Geoducks (6-5 conference, 12-13 overall) seemed to have a lot of confidence in the first half against the Red Raiders (3-7 conference, 7-15 overall), knocking down 55% (21-38) of their field goal attempts, including 40% (9-22) from three-point land.

The Geoducks defense held Southern Oregon to only 37% (13-35) shooting in the first half, along with a horrible 14% (1-7) from behind the arc.

The excitement and intensity gave the Geoducks the upper hand as they went into the locker rooms with a comfortable 21 point lead, 54-33.

The talk at halftime revolved around the fact that the Geoducks knew the Red Raiders would put some type of comeback together in the second half.

It was Evergreen's job to prevent the comeback. Southern Oregon proved worthy of such a comeback the night before when they trailed Northwest College by 25 points at halftime, before cutting the lead to one late in the game (Southern Oregon eventually lost that game).

The Red Raiders did exactly what the Geoducks expected and went on a tear in the second half, scoring 62 points on 58% (20-34) shooting.

Southern Oregon also converted on 18 of 21 free throw attempts in the half to help cut the lead to just three points late in the game.

Fortunately, Southern Oregon's magic wore out just in time as the Geoducks prevailed with win, keeping Evergreen in a

tight race for second place in the Cascade Conference standings, and pushing the Red Raiders further back.

Mike Parker (Washington DC / Clover Park HS) led the Geoducks with an unbelievable shooting performance. Parker was 14-17 from the field, with all three of his missed shots coming from behind the three-point line, and ended the night with a game high 36 points. Parker also had five rebounds, a game high five blocks and four steals.

Devin Jones (Ogden, Utah / Bonneville HS) helped lead the Geoducks offensive attack with 18 points on 8-13 shooting while pulling down five boards of his own and handing out four assists.

Haikima Moore (Dallas, Tex. / Allen HS) and Ben Riippi (Puyallup, Wash. / Puyallup HS) also scored in double figures for the Geoducks.

Moore had 15 points (6-13) and a team high six rebounds, while Riippi cashed in 12 points (4-10) and dished out four assists.

Zac Olson who scored a team high 29 points on 12-18 shooting led Southern Oregon's second half comeback. Olson also had eight rebounds and four assists on the night.

Jared Abell chipped in 24 points (8-12) off the bench for the Red Raiders in just 26 minutes of play, and fell one rebound short of a double double, ending the game with nine.

Ryan Gabel and T.J Caughell chipped in 17 points and 14 points respectively for Southern Oregon, and Caughell also had a game high nine assists.

The Geoducks will have a week off before their next conference battle, when they will face the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers. Evergreen will look to stay in the tight race for second place with a victory.

The Geoducks defeated the Mountaineers in an early season battle 86-82. The game will be played at Evergreen's College Recreation Center and will start at 8:00 p.m.