Recap | Recap | Recap | Box Score
GEORGE FOX 79, PACIFIC 66: ‘California Connection’ Keys Bruins to Win over Boxers
NEWBERG, Ore. – With their “California connection” of former Los Angeles Verbum Dei High School teammates Mike Taylor and Anthony Sanchez combining for 41 points, the George Fox University Bruins cruised to a 79-66 win over the Pacific University Boxers in Northwest Conference men’s basketball action Saturday here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
With the win, George Fox improved to 11-10 overall and moved into third place in the NWC standings at 8-4, slipping past the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University, who both lost and fell to 7-4 in conference play. Whitman College is a half-game ahead of the Bruins at 8-3. Pacific dropped its eighth in a row to fall to 8-12 overall and 2-9 in the league.
Taylor banked in a three-pointer and Corey Clark hit two free throws in the first minute of play as the Bruins took a quick 5-0 lead and never trailed. After a three by Cameron Hayes got the Boxers on the board, Taylor lit up the nets with four more long-distance bombs in the space of three minutes, fueling a 14-4 outburst that gave the home team a 19-7 lead, 15 of the points by Taylor, with 15:48 left in the half.
Coby Proctor hit a three and Charles Mosley a jumper as the Boxers climbed back within seven at 19-12 with 13:46 to go, but they would draw no closer. Jon Adrian drained a three that ignited an 11-0 Bruin run over a two-minute stretch, with Taylor adding four free throws and Sanchez a layup and two free throws, to make it a 30-12 game with 11:09 to play in the period. The Bruins hit that 18-point spread two more times before settling for 40-25 halftime lead.
Free throws played a crucial role in the Bruins’ big lead as they hit 10-for-10 from the line to only 1-for-2 for the Boxers. Taylor hit 6-of-10 from the field, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, and all four of his free throw attempts for 21 first-half points. Colin Wester was the visitors’ leading scorer at that stage with eight points.
George Fox remained comfortably in front for the duration of the second half. Taylor took only two more shots, content to feed his teammates as he passed out four second-half assists, including a long lob to Sanchez coming along the baseline for a spectacular dunk that made it 61-43 with 10:37 left to play.
Adrian hit Sanchez for another three moments later as the Bruins took their first 20-point lead of 64-43 with 10:05 left. Sanchez, who scored 14 second-half points, canned yet another downtowner with 9:16 left to give George Fox its largest lead of the game at 67-43. Asiel Thompson scored the Bruins’ final points with a jumper to make it 79-61 with two minutes left before the Boxers scored the final five points of the game, the final score being as close as they got in the last 20 minutes.
Taylor had 23 points and Sanchez 18 to lead the Bruins, each hitting 7-of-12 from the field, while Sean Atkins added 15 points, 11 in the second half. Atkins also had a team-high six rebounds and three blocked shots, while Clark passed out eight assists. The Bruins shot .556 (15-27) from the field in the final stanza and .509 (27-53) overall, including .348 (8-23) from three-point range, and .810 (17-21) from the line.
Mosley with 14 points and Wester with 12 paced the Boxers, who shot .417 (25-60) for the game, including .400 (8-20) from long distance, and .615 (8-13) from the stripe. Mosley and Dustin Bowser had five rebounds apiece as the Boxers held a 35-29 rebound advantage. Proctor contributed four assists.
NEXT: George Fox hits the road for three of its final four games, starting next Friday at Puget Sound. Game time is 8:00 p.m. in Tacoma, Wash. ... Pacific goes home to host Willamette University Saturday, also at 8:00 p.m. ... Both games will be parts of NWC doubleheaders, with women’s games first at 6:00 p.m.