Jan 13, 2017

Lacey Posts Career-High in Big Win Against Bearcats

A Winning Tradition

  • 3 NAIA National Tournaments (1973, 1990, 1992)
  • 1 NAIA District Championship (1990)
  • 22 NAIA District Tournaments
  • 3 NAIA Top 25 National Rankings (1990, 1991, 1992)
  • 4 Northwest Conference Tournaments (1997-1998, 2009-2010, 2012-2013, 2016-17)
  • 2 Cascade Conference Tournaments (1994, 1995)
  • 2 NCCAA National Tournaments (1985, 1987)
  • 7 NCCAA Regional Tournaments (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)
  • 1 NCCAA National Coach of the Year
  • 3 NAIA District Coaches of the Year
  • 2 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 17 All-Americans
  • 3 NBA Draft Picks  

SALEM, Ore. --- The George Fox men's basketball team went down to the wire, Friday, as the Bruins edged the Bearcats of Willamette, 88-83.

It wasn't the start the Bruins were looking for in the opening minutes, as the Bearcats jumped out to a 9-2 lead. The deficit didn't seem to faze the Bruins as they slowly chipped away at the lead with a Dylan Hamilton layup and a Mason Green-Richards three. The Bruins closed in on the Bearcats at the 12:10 mark when JJ Lacey completed the and-one to bring them within one, 14-13.

Lacey extended the Bruins' lead at the 9:44 mark after he drained a fast break three on a Thomas Rico assist. The Bruins' defense came alive and forced a backcourt steal, and Doutt found Hamlett for the easy layup to keep momentum alive. The Bearcats managed to rally back and the scoring became back and forth for the next five minutes.

The Bruins went on a 7-0 run to end the first half with a 38-31 advantage. The Bruins out-shot the Bearcats from the field with a 44.1 percent clip. George Fox also recorded 13 points off turnovers and the Bruins' bench combined for 12 of the 38 points at the break.

The second half started off with both teams going on small runs. The Bruins used a small run to extend their lead to 11 in the opening minutes, but the Bearcats responded moments later. Willamette used a 9-2 run to cut its deficit to one, 49-48, at the 13:10 mark. The Bruins answered back after the media timeout, going on a 10-0 run to regain their lead with 10 minutes left in the game, 58-48.

The fast-paced Bruins continued to cause havoc on the Bearcats, improving their lead to 14 at the 8:16 mark, 67-53. Willamette tried to slow down the Bruins, and even cut the lead to five late in the game.

Resiliency started to fume from the Bruins on the court, absorbing every run by the Bearcats, while slowly keeping them at an arm's reach. Free throws became the Bruins' best friend, as the Bearcats did everything in their power to get back into the game.

The Bruins finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the free throw line.

Top Performers:
Lacey was red hot all night, finishing with a career-high 35 points on 12-17 shooting from the field. He also went 9-10 from the free throw line. Mason Green Richards was the only other Bruin in double figures with 13. The Bruins forced the Bearcats to commit 23 turnovers on the night.

What It Means:
The Bruins bounce back in the Northwest Conference at 4-1 and 6-8 overall.

What Comes Next:
The Bruins will host Linfield Saturday, Jan. 14 at 6pm for rivalry night.