Geoducks Future Brighter after Defeating Warner Pacific
February 20, 2009
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Evergreen State College played fun to watch basketball tonight as they defeated #13 NAIA Div II Warner Pacific 99-88. Never losing their cool after slipping behind as much as 14 points eleven minutes into the game, the team rallied and built a 48-36 lead by the halftime buzzer.
The Geoducks knew they would have to work hard to contain several WPC players. Adam Moore, a former Geoduck and three-time CCC Player of the Week winner this season, was guarded heavily by ESC's Michael Ward (Sr. Kansas City, MO) and Nick Moore (Sr. Graham, WA).
Building to a 20 point lead three minutes into the second period, the Geoducks were soon to find out that the Knights had a secret weapon on their bench.
Playing just 17 minutes in the game, Warner Pac's Tom Higgins wasn't noticed in his brief playing time in the first half. The 5'9" guard hit his first three pointer at just after the halfway mark in the 2nd period. He proceeded to fire a barage of three pointers, hitting 5 of 9 attempts and helping the Knights pull within 8 points late in the game.
Higgins totaled 22 points to lead his team in scoring.
Evergreen was able to answer any serious threat by Warner and played excellent defense all night. Julio Feliciano, Ward and Moore were fighters under the boards and Menefee amazed with his ability to maneuver close to the basket or fade outside for a long three point shot.
Coach Jeff Drinkwine praised his players for their composure. "When we went into the time-out huddle after falling behind, I didn't have to say anything to get them going" adding "They didn't hang their heads, knowing what they needed to do tonight".
Menefee's 34 points tonight is his second best total in his career at Evergreen. He hit two long three point shots late in the first period that put the Evergreen crowd on their feet and hit a non-counting forty footer a fraction past the halftime buzzer.
The junior guard is averaging 24.38 points per game and has stayed in the top 2 in NAIA Div. II in point scoring.
Menefee added 4 assists and went 7-7 from the free throw line.
Warner's Adam Moore was held to 16 points, a good total but below his 20 points per game average this season. Moore was strong under the boards with 11 rebounds, a double double game for the night.
Nick Moore and Michael Ward both had 20+ point games for ESC. Moore totaled 22 and 10 rebounds for his first double double game of the season. Ward had an even 20 and 7 rebounds.
The win was important for Evergreen mentally, having suffered from recent losses and dropping out of the Top 25 National Rankings.
Tomorrow night the team will approach their game with Cascade seriously. Cascade (5-14 CCC, 12-15) played hard against ESC in January and took top 25 Eastern Oregon into overtime last month.