Dec 01, 2018

Bruins Erase 23-Point Deficit, Stun Loggers In OT

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  
 

By Seth Preuss

NEWBERG --- George Fox men's basketball proved its mettle against the Puget Sound Loggers on Saturday, Dec. 1, with a massive 108-106 comeback win in overtime. The Bruins trailed by 23 at one point on their home floor but never gave up. JD Ahlstrom hit a buzzer-beating 30-footer to stretch the night into overtime and the Bruins used their momentum from that dagger to take the night.

Recap

The Bruins trailed from the jump after a pair of Loggers free throws started the evening, and it only went downhill from the early 2-0 deficit to start the evening. The Loggers built a 10-4 lead in less than three minutes of play, and by the midpoint of the opening half the Bruins trailed 33-17.

The Loggers' lead grew to its largest of the night, 23 points, after a layup made it 58-35 with 39 seconds left in the opening half. The Loggers were able to build their lead by shooting a scorching 60% from the field in the first half, in part because the Bruins struggled to track the Puget Sound shooters around the arc. The Bruins made a final stand in the end of the half, however, and cut the lead down to 17 with layups from Kalu Stricklin, Mason Green-Richards, and a pair of free throws from Ryan Lacey.

The second half was a different story for both teams, as the Bruins' shooters heated up and the Loggers cooled from their scorching first half. The Loggers' lead was still 17 after the first five minutes of the second half, but a layup from Dylan Hamlett cut that lead to 15 with 14:40 to play as the Bruins chased 67-52.

With 11 minutes to go, the Loggers had stretched their lead back out to 20 points, up 79-59, but the Bruins never quit. A 12-4 Bruin run cut the lead down to 12 with seven minutes to play in regulation, and a 10-4 run cut the lead to seven with four minutes to go.

Still down five in the final minute, the Bruins got a triple from Green-Richards with 49 seconds remaining to make the score 93-91. The Bruins were able to get a stop but could not score on the following possession and were forced to foul with four seconds on the clock. The Loggers' shooter had a chance to shut the door with a one-and-one opportunity, but after hitting the first to make it 94-91 he missed the second free throw. The Bruins pushed the ball up the court and found Ahlstrom for the 30-footer on the far sideline to keep the game alive with a 94-94 tie at the buzzer.

Hamlett controlled the tip and Green-Richards hit a three for a lead the Bruins would not give up in the overtime period. Ahlstrom hit another trey in the right corner – he would finish five for six from deep – and the Bruins led by four with three minutes left in overtime. Layups from Green-Richards and Wesley Reynolds made the score 106-103 with a minute remaining, and the Bruins iced the game with a pair of free throws from Green-Richards for the 108-106 win.

Top Performers

Green-Richards carried the load offensively for the Bruins with 31 points on 50% shooting from three-point range and a 10 for 12 night at the charity stripe. Ahlstrom, the man that kept the night alive for the Bruins, finished with a career-high 19 points. Strickland gave the Bruins great energy off the bench on both ends and added 16, while Hamlett played an all-around game for the Bruins with 11 points, six boards, four assists, four steals, and five blocks, including a swat into the third row bleachers.

What It Means

The Bruins improve to 5-2 on the year and are 2-0 against NWC competition in the young 2018-19 season, while the Loggers dropped to 3-3 and 0-2 in NWC play. The Bruins have some positive momentum and have won their last three in a row.

What Happens Next

George Fox hosts a pair of non-conference opponents as Southwestern (Texas) and Nebraska Wesleyan come to town on Dec. 7 and Dec. 16, respectively.