Evergreen hosts two double-headers this weekend

January 3, 2008

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Women's and men's Evergreen basketball returns to Cascade Conference action with two back-to-back, double-headers at home this weekend. Friday night's game with Cascade College will be in the Green House and again on Saturday when Evergreen hosts Warner Pacific College. Games start when the women tip-off at 5:30 PM.

Between the two Portland, OR based schools, the men's rivalry with WPC has been the most heated. Evergreen has not defeated The Knights since 2005. Warner advanced to the "Sweet 16" in NAIA Division II National Tournament play last season and ranked 8th in the nation the previous year.

When the women take to the court against Cascade Friday, The Geoducks (2-11) will enter this competition as the favorite despite a lesser overall record than Cascade (7-6). A win would be a needed morale boost for the Geoducks who have lost seven in a row. Evergreen has challenged several NCAA Div II & III teams in the early season as well as three top half ranked Cascade Conference squads. Cascade won six of their early season games against small programs.

ESC is 9-6 against the Thunderbirds, having lost their last matchup in the 2006-07 season. Cascade is led in scoring by Raquel Morin who has average 16.6 points per game (4th in CCC).

The Geoducks need to watch out for the defensive skills of Te Awhina Aranui who has pulled down a conference leading 10.8 rebounds per game and has compiled 34 steals this season. Arunui is capable of scoring big as well.

Jennifer Solberg (Sr. Franklin Pierce HS) ranks eighth in scoring (14.5 ppg) and second to Arunui in rebounds in the conference standings. Rosalind Lee (Jr. Oakland, CA) has been contributing 10.5 points per game for Evergreen.

Warner Pacific (2-10) is currently at the bottom of the conference standings, having lost their last eight games.

On the men's side, The Geoducks lost their last game on the road against NCAA Div I and Big Sky Conference leader Montana State University by a score of 92-56 on December 28th. Returning to conference play with a record of 2-2, Evergreen looks forward to a win after having lost two in a row.

Tomorrow's game against Cascade College will be the first matchup between the two teams this season, with Evergreen leading the all-time series against the Thunderbirds 12-4. Evergreen has beaten Cascade their previous two meetings.

Eric Taylor leads the Thunderbirds in scoring with 18.3 ppg and a strong defender in Ryan Barker (11 rpg).

Evergreen's Nathan Menefee leads the conference in scoring averages with an excellent 22.2 points per game and has not missed a game.

Warner brings a team that returns all five starters from last season, including All-American senior Scott O'Gallagher.

Currently The Knights are ranked fourth in the Cascade Conference with a 2-1 record. Their one conference loss was to #1 Eastern Oregon University.