One Point Loss for Evergreen at Western Oregon

Story Courtesy of WOU Sports Information

December 13, 2008

MONMOUTH, Ore. - The Western Oregon University men's basketball team defeated The Evergreen State College 89-88 Saturday Dec. 13. The win moves the Wolves to 3-2 on the season and drops the Geoducks record to 6-2.

Travis Kuhns led four Western Oregon student-athletes in double-figure scoring with 26 points as he went 3-of-4 from three-point range and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. He also pulled down eight rebounds and had a team-best four assists. Mike McLaughlin and Blair Wheadon put up 14 and 16 points, respectively, as both went 6-of-10 from the field.

In his first game of the season, Demario Ballard came off the bench to score 10 points for Western Oregon in just 15 minutes of play.

Evergreen played good basketball, with 5 players scoring in the double digits. Defensively the team was strong, turning WOU turnovers into 21 points. Western's strength within the paint was evident as they outscored the Geoducks 46-32 in close-to-the-basket range.

Both Nathan Menefee and Nick Moore totaled 19 points to lead the team with Menefee making 11 of 12 free throw attempts. Michael Ward and Julio Feliciano each had 13 and John Levi III had 10 points.

The game was tight throughout as neither team held a lead larger than six points. WOU went in front for good at 81-79 on two free throws by McLaughlin and led 82-81 with 2:00 remaining.

The Wolves trailed 48-44 at the half but turned it around to outscore the Geoducks 45-40 in the second half for the 89-88 victory.

The first half featured seven ties and seven lead changes but the Geoducks took a 48-44 lead into the locker room. The largest lead of the game came as ESC jumped out to a 42-36 advantage but WOU answered back with an 8-2 run to tie the game at 44 apiece. However, the Geoducks would get the final two baskets of the half for the lead at the midway point.

After a defensive stop, Kuhns drove the ball and dished off to Ratcliff for the lay up as the Wolves went up 85-81. The Wolves would convert five free throws in the final 34.9 seconds to hold on for the victory.

Western Oregon used a 44-34 rebounding advantage in the game including a 20-11 edge on the offensive glass. As a team, WOU took eight more shots than ESC and made four more baskets as each team shot 45 percent.

Kuhns scored 15 of the Wolves first 23 points in the game and 18 in the first half. Ratcliff hauled in seven boards in the half including four on the offensive glass.

Evergreen (NAIA #16) will host two Cascade Conference teams this weekend. Friday Southern Oregon University (1-1 CCC, 3-6) will be the visitors at 7:30 following the women's game. Saturday, last season's NAIA Div. II National Champion team Oregon Tech hits the Greenhouse in what is sure to be an exciting matchup at 7:30 PM.

Box Score