Dec 01, 2012

GEORGE FOX 61, LEWIS & CLARK 56: Bruins Rally Past Pioneers in Conference Opener

A Winning Tradition

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

PORTLAND, Ore. – Senior guard Anthony Sanchez calmly canned four free throws in the final 11.9 seconds, icing a 61-56 come-from-behind win for visiting George Fox University over the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers in the Bruins’ Northwest Conference men’s basketball opener Saturday night here at the Pamplin Sports Center.

After falling behind 3-0, the Bruins rallied to take a 6-5 lead with 15:24 to go in the first half on two baskets and two free throws by Sean Atkins.  The lead was short-lived, however, as the Pioneers reeled off eight unanswered points on two close-in baskets by Serg Ovchinnikov, a steal and layup by Connor Freeburg, and a power move by Caron Rayford that made it 13-6 with 12:15 left. 

Matt Zandbergen’s layup at the 11:18 mark ended the Pios’ run, but the home team extended its lead to double digits at 21-11 on a three-pointer by Ovchinnikov and to 11 at 28-17 on a pair of free throws by Ben Neves with 4:14 left in the period.  A driving layup by Sanchez and six points by Atkins on two goals and two freebies brought the Bruins within five at 30-25 with 1:47 left, but Ovchinnikov hit another trey, off-setting a final jumper by Atkins, as the Pios took a 35-27 lead into halftime.

Atkins had 20 points for the Bruins in the first half to lead all scorers, while Ovchinnikov tallied 12 for the Pioneers. 

Fueled by a trio of threes, one from A.J. Grant and a pair from the left wing by Jon Adrian, the Bruins opened the second half with a 12-2 run to take a 39-37 lead five minutes in.  Quentin Sims hit a pair of free throws to tie it 39-39 with 14:30 left, and the game see-sawed back and forth over the next 10 minutes, with three more ties and six lead changes.

Josh Garlington’s three from the left corner gave the Bruins a 53-51 lead with 4:31 left, and Seth Brent added two free throws with 3:59 to play for a 55-51 advantage.  Ross Erickson’s jumper at 3:17, his eighth straight point for the Pios, cut the margin to 55-53, but Brent tipped in an Atkins miss at 1:06 to get the Bruin lead back to four.

Freeberg nailed two free throws, the first one banked in, with 54 ticks left, to draw the Pios within two, and after the Bruins missed two in-close shots, Neves was fouled with 12.7 seconds left, giving the home team a chance to tie it.  He made the first but missed the second, Sanchez rebounding and giving the Bruins a 59-56 lead with two swished free throws with 11.9 to go.  Sims missed a potential tying three, and Sanchez added the clinching charity tosses with 3.6 seconds left.

Lewis & Clark, which usually takes over 40 per cent of its shots from three-point range, was limited by the Bruin defense to only 17 of its 60 attempts from long distance, and made only three of them.  Free throws proved to be a critical difference as the Bruins sank 15-17 (.882) while the Pios struggled, making only 11-20 (.550)

Atkins did not scratch in the second half but still led all scorers with 20 points, the only Bruin in double figures.  The rest of the Bruins picked him up in the second half as Sanchez scored seven points and five Bruins - Grant, Brent, Adrian, Garlington and Spencer Bolte - added six apiece.  Sanchez led all rebounders with 10 as the Bruins held a 40-39 edge on the glass, and Adrian handed out four assists.

Ovchinnikov finished with 14 points and Erickson added 12, 10 in the second half, to pace the Pios.  Erickson had a team-high eight rebounds, and Kurt Parker passed out four assists.

NEXT: George Fox (3-3, NWC 1-0) visits Northwest Christian University for a non-conference game Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ... Lewis & Clark (3-3, NWC 0-2) hosts Portland Bible College Tuesday in a non-league contest at 8:00 p.m.