Feb 09, 2019

Upset-Minded Bruins Fall Short to 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
  • Two Northwest Conference Players of the Year
  • 17 All-Americans
  • Three NBA Draft Picks  

By: Jake Bienvenue

SPOKANE --- The George Fox men's basketball team traveled to Washington to take on the No. 15 Whitworth Pirates, almost pulling off the upset but losing in overtime, 107-98.


The contest opened up with both sides trading blows. The teams were tied at five apiece at the 16:43 mark.

Three threes in rapid succession from the Pirates gave the home team a 14-5 advantage.

The Bruins battled back, and a deep ball by Mason Green-Richards capped off a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 16-14 with just under 13 minutes remaining in the half.

Five quick points from Ryan Lacey showed Whitworth that the Bruins would not go away, as the deluge tied the score at 23-23 with 7:19 remaining.

George Fox kept on the gas pedal from there, as Green-Richards, JD Ahlstrom and Dylan Hamlett found the bottom of the net in succession to push the Bruins out ahead of its competition. To the surprise of the home team, the Bruins held a seven-point advantage at the break, 40-33.

Green-Richards led the way after the opening period, scoring nine. Hamlett was a key factor as well, contributing eight points to go along with a pair of blocks and six rebounds.

Green-Richards was absolutely unstoppable coming out of the halftime break, scoring eight points in the opening minutes, setting the score at 50-46 in favor of George Fox with 16:26 left.

The Pirates battled back and retook the lead shortly after, but Ahlstrom responded with a long-range bomb to swing the Bruins back ahead by one, 53-52.

The sides traded blow-after-blow, but the Bruins were able to stay just one step ahead throughout much of the second half. Lacey was huge for George Fox in the offensive effort, scoring eight straight points in under three minutes to help the visiting squad.

With 6:29 left, the Pirates retook the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the period, but a three by Jackson Januik and a clutch and-one by Green-Richards gave the Bruins an 80-77 advantage with 5:28 left.

The sides went shot-for-shot together through the final minutes. Hamlett hit a pivotal layup with 55 seconds left to put the Bruins up three, 89-86, but the Pirates responded with a clutch and-one to tie the game.

With the chance to take the lead with around 30 seconds left, Januik took a jumper that just missed. Hamlett crashed the glass and corralled the offensive board, flipping it back up and in to give the Bruins the lead, 91-89.

Two free throws by the Pirates sent the game into overtime.

Whitworth got into its groove in OT and jumped into the lead. A three by Ahlstrom cut the lead to three, 99-96, with just under two minutes remaining, but the Pirates were able to find their offense down the stretch to earn the win, 107-98.

Top Performers:

Green-Richards led the way, pouring in 26 points. Hamlett was a force to be reckoned with in the paint, scoring 18 points to go along with nine rebounds, many of which were in crunch time. Lacey was close behind with 17 points. Ahlstrom got hot in this one as well, scoring 14 points on 4-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Januik found his way into double-figures also, registering 11 points.

What It Means:

The Bruins drop to 6-8 in conference play with the loss, but their overall record of 12-11 keeps them above .500. The Bruins are currently in fifth in the NWC standings, trailing Puget Sound by one game.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins have a crucial game on Feb. 12 against third-place Linfield in McMinnville at 8 pm.