Dec 05, 2015

Bruins Stellar in First Half, but Fall to Boxers

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
  • Two Northwest Conference Players of the Year
  • 17 All-Americans
  • Three NBA Draft Picks  

By: Ryan Lackey


NEWBERG, Ore. --- The Bruins put together perhaps their best all-around performance of the young season in the first half of Saturday's matchup at the Pacific University Boxers. But, a rabid second-half comeback led to a 79-64 Pacific victory and means the Bruins are still chasing their first win.

When Bruin guard Johnathan Doutt nailed a long three to open the game, he set the tempo for the entire first half, which saw the Bruins shoot 42% on threes. Doutt hit another minutes later to build the Bruins' early 12-6 lead. Pacific went on a run to take the lead, 16-14, but a well-placed timeout from head coach Maco Hamilton stopped Pacific's surge, and Bruin sniper Chris Fedler hit a perfect corner three to regain a 17-16 lead.

With each team shooting well, a large lead was impossible to establish: the Bruins went down 21-19, and Ryan Thistlewood swished a three. Soon after, with the Bruins up 26-23, Pacific's Bobby Ahern connected from beyond the arc himself, evening the score at 26-26. Again with remarkable timing, Hamilton called another timeout after Pacific stretched their lead to 30-26, and some stellar individual play from JJ Lacey helped the Bruins accelerate and go ahead 33-32. Lacey caught fire as the first half culminated: after the layup, steal, and assist to rebuild the Bruins's 33-32 advantage, Lacey made a three, flicked away another steal, and found a wide-open Dylan Hamlett, whose midrange jumper sailed through the net, sending the Bruins into the half with a suddenly comfortable 39-34 lead.

In the second half, though, the Bruins' shots seemed to refuse to fall. In very atypical fashion, the Bruins shot just 1-9 from deep in the second half, while Pacific roared, shooting 58% from the field. Still, the second half began well for the visiting Bruins. After a Thistlewood layup, Lacey went off again, making a good inside move for an easy layup before snatching another steal, pulling down a rebound, and finding Thomas Rico for another basket. At 47-37, the Bruins were enjoying their largest lead of the night.

Pacific finally arose, though, and reeled off a 16-6 run to level the score at 53-53. As the Bruins continued to misfire, though, the Boxers could not seem to miss. Though the Bruins shot just well enough to stick around – a Fedler three drew them within three, 64-61, with six minutes left – they never regained the lead. After the Fedler three, Pacific closed out the game on a 15-3 run to make the 79-64 final in a game very much of two disparate halves.

Top Performers:
Per usual, JJ Lacey did a little of everything for the Bruins, finishing with 14 points, five rebounds, and five steals. Thomas Rico chipped in 11 points. Chris Fedler, who went 2-3 from long range, finished with nine points.

What It Means:
The Bruins are still looking to get off the starting line in 2015, standing at 0-2 in the Northwest Conference and 0-6 overall.

What Comes Next:
The Bruins host California-Santa Cruz next Saturday night.