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GEORGE FOX 116, LEWIS & CLARK 112: Bruins Clip Pios in Record-Setting 4 Overtimes
NEWBERG, Ore. – In a game that was crucial for both teams’ chances of making the four-team Northwest Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament at the end of the season, the George Fox University Bruins outlasted the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers 116-112 in a record-setting four overtimes Tuesday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
It was the longest home game in Bruin history; no George Fox home game had ever gone more than two overtimes. It also equaled the longest game ever for the Bruins, a 123-116 win in four extra sessions at Linfield College on Dec. 30, 1975.
Both teams are now 10-10 overall. George Fox improved to 7-4 in the conference, in fifth place but only half-a-game behind three teams who are tied for second at 7-3: the University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, and Pacific Lutheran University. Lewis & Clark is in sixth but now at 5-6 in league play.
P.J. Taylor hit a three-pointer to give the Pioneers an early 3-0 lead, but the visitors did not lead again until the waning seconds of regulation. Mike Taylor’s three for the Bruins tied it and started an 11-0 run in a minute-and-a-half span that included a three and a layup by Corey Clark and a three by Anthony Sanchez. The Bruins eventually extended that lead to 13 twice, the last at 29-16 on a pair of Spencer Bolte free throws at the 9:32 mark.
The Pios got consecutive threes by Dexter Pearce, P.J. Taylor, and Marcus Wells in the space of 69 seconds to mount a comeback, and finally knotted the score at 32-32 on a layup by James Hollins with 3:48 left. The Bruins closed with a three by Jon Adrian and two Sean Atkins free throws, however, to take a 37-32 halftime lead.
The visitors tied the game again with 16:27 left in the second period on another three by P.J. Taylor, but the Bruins responded with an 8-0 run featuring a layup by Clark, a three by Sanchez, and a conventional hree-point play by Clark to go up 53-45 with 13:55 remaining. The Bruins maintained a lead between four and eight points over the next 13 minutes, setting the stage for a madcap finish.
George Fox led 78-73 after a Mike Taylor free throw with 41 seconds left, but Hollins drove for a layup seven seconds later. P.J. Taylor then made back-to-back steals nine seconds apart and Hollins and Marcus Wells hit quick layups as the Pios took a stunning 79-78 lead with 14 seconds to go. Clark hit one free throw after being fouled with seven ticks left but missed the second, sending the game into overtime tied at 79-79.
Wells hit a layup to get the Pios going in the first overtime, and they twice built five-point leads before the Bruins rallied, sending it into a second overtime tied at 90-90 on a layup by Sanchez with 0:07 left. The Bruins drew first blood in the second extra period with a layup by Mike Taylor, but the Pios later took a three-point lead of 96-93 on a trey by Wells with two minutes to go. George Fox eventually tied it 98-98 on another Mike Taylor layup with 51 seconds left, but the Bruins’ top scorer missed a driving attempt to win it at the end of the period, forcing a third overtime.
Donato Perconti gave Lewis & Clark a 99-98 lead with a free throw to open the third five-minute overtime and the Pios never trailed, though there were three more ties, before building a 106-103 lead with seven seconds left on two Pearce free throws. Mike Taylor swished through a right-wing three at the buzzer to save the Bruins, however, setting up the school-record fourth overtime.
After two more ties, George Fox took the lead for good when Taylor drained two free throws with 1:07 remaining for a 112-110 lead. After a three-point miss by Perconti, the Bruins’ Cam Rier did not miss a three that nestled in with 20 seconds to go, giving the home team a 115-110 lead. Ross Erickson hit two freebies for the Pios with three seconds left before the Bruins added a final point on a Sanchez free throw following a technical on the Lewis & Clark bench.
Four George Fox players scored 20 or more points, tying another Bruin record set in the 1975 four-overtime game. Mike Taylor led the way with 30 points, Clark scored a career-high 25 (his previous best had been seven), Sanchez had a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Atkins scored 22. Taylor handed out seven assists, and Atkins had five steals and two blocked shots.
Six players scored in double figures for the Pioneers, with two recording double-doubles: Hollins with 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Erickson with 20 and 10. Wells paced the Pios with 21 points, while Perconti scored 15, P.J. Taylor 14, and Pearce 11. Wells passed out six assists, and Taylor had a pair of steals. Despite the length of the game, each team made only 14 turnovers.
NEXT: George Fox finishes a five-game home stand Friday against Pacific University at 8:00 p.m. … Lewis & Clark visits Linfield College Saturday, also at 8:00 p.m. … Both games are parts of NWC doubleheaders, with the women’s games preceding at 6:00 p.m.