Jan 11, 2019

Bruins' Late Push Falls Short Against Top-Ranked Pirates

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 --- The George Fox men's basketball team hosted No. 7-ranked Whitworth on Friday, January 11, to Miller Gymnasium for a Northwest Conference tilt on the Bruins' hardwood. The Bruins were able to erase a 15-point halftime deficit and left everything on the court against the Pirates in a hard-fought 88-85 loss.

Recap

The Bruins grabbed an early 8-4 lead on early buckets by Mason Green-Richards, Jackson Januik, and Dylan Hamlett, but the Pirates countered with a 16-4 run to claim a 20-12 lead with 14:15 left in the opening half.

After absorbing the body blows from the Pirates, the Bruins went to work to close the gap. Over the next five minutes, the Bruins' defense was able to get stops and put together transition chances for Wesley Reynolds and JD Ahlstrom.

After a layup from Ahlstrom cut the lead to three – 28-25 with 8:48 left in the half – the Pirates tried to pull away again with another run. Both offenses got quality looks to close the opening period, but the Pirates were able to widen their lead to a 60-45 advantage at the break.

The second half belonged to the Bruins and they opened the period on a 16-4 run to start the period. The Pirates tried to rally and create the separation they had enjoyed in the first half, but the Bruins hung tough the rest of the way as Coach Maco Hamilton continued to drive his team on from the sidelines.

A pair of jumpers from Januik and Ryan Lacey cut the lead to a single bucket, 71-69, with 9:43 left to play. The Pirates pulled away again briefly behind big shots from their senior leaders, but the Bruins refused to go away. A pair of Hamlett foul shots made it 81-79 with just under four minutes to play. Green-Richards drew a three-shot foul and hit all three to cut the lead to one with under a minute to play.

The Bruins elected not to foul and gave up a layup on the other end but could not hit their shot on the following possession. The Bruins were forced to foul and the Pirates' shooter missed the front end of a one-and-one to give the Bruins one final look, but the shot was off the mark to end the night in a tough 88-85 loss to the top-ranked Pirates

Top Performers

The Bruins' defense forced 21 turnovers and converted those into 31 points off Pirate giveaways. Green-Richards finished with 24 points and was an impressive seven for 11 from the floor. Johnson ended the night with a season-best 19 points on a six-for-nine night from the floor.

What It Means

The Bruins have dropped their first NWC contest of the 2018-19 season and move to 10-4 overall with a 4-1 conference record.

What Happens Next

The Bruins have another tough test on Saturday, January 12, as the Whitman Blues come into town for a tilt at 6:00 pm.