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Geoducks face nation's highest scoring team in first round of NAIA men's basketball tourney

March 5, 2009

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. -- One thing should be certain about The Evergreen State College's opening round game in the NAIA Division II National Men's Basketball Championships -- it promises to be a high-scoring contest.

The Geoducks drew 11 th -seeded Bluefield College of Virginia in the first round and will meet the Rams at 11:45 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 11.

Bluefield, the regular season champions of the Appalachian Athletic Conference, is the highest-scoring team in NAIA II at 91.5 points per game while Evergreen is 11 th at 84.5. The Rams ran off a 17-game regular season win streak under first-year coach Jason Gillespie, but were edged 86-85 in the AAC title game. The Geoducks also lost their conference title game, 82-72, to Oregon Tech.

The Rams are led by two high-scoring 6-3 guards, Curtis Dixon (18.0 points per game) and Coryon Ross (17.3). Six-foot-six forward Omar Reed is right behind with 17.2 points per game. Evergreen is led by Cascade Collegiate Conference MVP Nate Menefee, the nation's second-leading scorer at 24.4 points per game, 6-7 forward Nick Moore at 15.6 ppg and guard Michael Ward at 12.15.

This will mark Evergreen's second appearance in the tournament. Led by another CCC player of the year, Andre Stewart, and one-time Washington prep legend Quincy Wilder, the Geoducks ran off a 20-game win streak in 2001-02 and reached the NAIA tourney. They defeated Ottawa University (KS) in the first round before being eliminated by Holy Family College of Philadelphia.

Evergreen will be joined by three other Cascade Collegiate Conference teams in the tournament, conference champ Oregon Tech, regular season co-champ Eastern Oregon University and Warner Pacific College.