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Geoducks Can't Climb Past Mountaineers

January 31, 2003

by Devin Jones

OLYMPIA, WA -- As the end of the season nears and the playoffs approach, The Evergreen State College men's basketball team is starting to realize the importance of every game.

On Friday evening the Geoducks faced a harsh reality as they fell to the last place Eastern Oregon Mountaineers in overtime, 94-88, dropping the Geoducks to sixth place in conference play.

Maybe the Geoducks overlooked the Mountaineers, a team that Evergreen (6-6 conference, 12-14 overall) beat earlier in the season. Regardless, Eastern Oregon (3-9 conference, 6-12 overall) was ready to play, and ready to avenge that loss.

Both halves were relatively even. Eastern Oregon jumped out to a quick eight-point lead to start the game, forcing the Geoducks to step up their game. Throughout the first half the two teams battled, exchanging baskets and shooting almost identical percentages.

Evergreen was 16-32 in the half (50%), while the Mountaineers shot 46% on 15-32 shooting. Both teams shot 33% from behind the three-point line, going 4-12 from deep. At the end of the half, the Mountaineers hung onto a mere two-point advantage.

The second half could almost be described as a slow-motion instant replay from the first half. Although Eastern Oregon shot a better percentage from the field, 48% (15-31) to the Geoducks' 45% (15-33), Evergreen outscored the Mountaineers by two 41-39, forcing the game into overtime.

Unfortunately, in overtime it was all Mountaineers as they outscored the Geoducks 16-10, giving Eastern Oregon the victory and only their third conference victory of the season.

For only the fourth time this season the Geoducks outrebounded their opponent, holding a 36-35 edge over the Mountaineers. However, the most disturbing statistic of the game would have to be the fact that Evergreen only had three steals for the entire game. Evergreen leads the conference in steals per game, with almost 12 per contest.

The Mountaineers were led to victory by the play of their guards, Larry Smith and Tyree Jones. Smith had a team high 28 points on 9-19 shooting, including 6-12 from behind the three-point arc.

Jones followed Smith with 21 points of his own (9-15) and also had a team high 11 rebounds, while dishing out a game high eight assists. Tony Luper scored 16 points (8-11) on the night, and Nate Cauffman chipped in 12 (3-7) to help lead Eastern Oregon.

Mike Parker (Washington DC / Clover Park HS) led the Geoducks with his second 41-point performance of the season. Parker was 16-29 from the field, including 4-10 from three-point land.

Parker also tore down 12 boards, breaking the school record of 171, for most rebounds in a season, and had three blocks to add to his own school record of 78.

Devin Jones (Ogden, Utah / Bonneville HS) added 14 points for the Geoducks on 4-10 shooting and also grabbed six boards, while handing out a team high five assists.

Adam Laneer (Tumwater, Wash. / Tumwater HS) knocked down 13 points (6-16) and had six rebounds, while Haikima Moore (Dallas, Tex. / Allen HS) added 10 points (3-4) respectively in the loss.

The Geoducks will try to forget the loss and bounce back tomorrow evening against Albertson College. Albertson's currently has a one game lead, for fourth place, over the Geoducks in the Cascade Conference standings. Game time for the match-up will be at 8:00 p.m.