Nov 25, 2017

Thomas Rico Drops 36 In Thrilling OT Win Over Sagehens

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  

CLAREMONT, Calif. --- The George Fox men's basketball team continued its spectacular play Saturday night, as the Bruins followed up their big win over No. 15 Claremont-Mudd-Scrips with an overtime win over Pomona-Pitzer, 96-90.


It was a tightly contested game all night between the Bruins and the Sagehens, as fans enjoyed a game that combined for 11 ties and a lead that changed hands 15 times.

The Bruins jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the early minutes after a layup by Ryan Lacey and a pair of free throws by Dylan Hamlett. The Sagehens responded keeping the game close for the next 10 minutes of play. In fact, the lead was never more than five points from either side until the 12:40 mark when Sagehens' Winston Nelson made a 3-point shot, 20-14.

The Bruins trailed most of the first half, and even found themselves down by seven with three minutes left before the break at 36-29. Mason Green-Richards helped spark a run before half with a deep three and a Hamlett layup brought the game all square at 37-37 with 1:21 left.

Green-Richards and Thomas Rico ended the half for the Bruins with back-to-back threes to go in to the locker room down by one, 41-40.

In the start of the second half, the Bruins caught fire with a couple of early baskets to take the lead by three, 52-49, after Green-Richards splashed in another three. From there on out the largest separation was seven points, as both teams traded baskets in the final 10 minutes. With the Bruins down by two with less than two minutes left in the game, Rico drained a three to give the Bruins a 76-75 lead. That lead grew to three after Rico made a pair of free throws, but a three by the Sagehens would even the game up at 78-78. Rico made a jumper with 26 seconds on the game clock to give the Bruins an edge, but again, the Sagehens responded with a made basket of their own.

Both teams finished regulation tied up at 80-80 to head into overtime.

The Sagehens were the first to strike in OT with a layup, but Green-Richards quickly dismantled any hopes for a Sagehen victory. Green-Richards kept up his hot shooting with a three to help the Bruins take an 83-82 lead. The Bruins wouldn't relinquish that lead for the remainder of the overtime, as they responded to every attempt by the Sagehens. A Rico three at 1:04 pushed the Bruins' lead up to six, 93-87, and would go down as the dagger with the Bruins finishing the game on the charity stripe.

The Bruins completed the comeback with a 96-90 victory.

Top Performers:

Thomas Rico led the Bruins on the night with 36 points on 12-21 shooting from the field and 7-14 shooting from beyond the arc. The 36 points is now Rico's career-high after surpassing his 35 points against Linfield on Feb. 10, 2017. He is now tied for 11th all-time in most points in a single game at George Fox and records his fourth 30-plus game in his career.

Green-Richards finished with 22 points on 8-15 shooting, while Dylan Hamlett poured in 16 points and seven rebounds. Hamlett also finished 12-12 at the free throw line to tie the George Fox record for best free throw percentage (min. 12 attempts). Ryan Lacey almost recorded his first double-double of his career as a Bruin with nine points and nine rebounds. Jackson Januik continues to be a facilitator for the Bruins, as the freshman dished out six assists.

What It Means:

The Bruins are now 3-1 on the season.

What Comes Next:

George Fox will complete its California trip with a game against California Lutheran Monday, Nov. 27, at 4pm.