Nov 22, 2019

Bruins Hold Out Against Late Leopard Surge, Win Third Straight

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 Jacob Hayes

NEWBERG --- In a physical Friday night match, the George Fox Bruins defeated the La Verne Leopards by a final score of 91-85.


Even though the Bruins won the tip, early action for La Verne's big man Jarid Taylor put the Leopards up 12-4 with two threes and two blocks for eight points in the first four minutes. Jackson Januik responded with a quick nine bringing the crowd alive and stopping the run. In an attempt to play up tempo, George Fox employed a full court press, which created back-to-back turnovers to put the Bruins in the lead 17-14, forcing an early time out for the Leopards.

The game was far from settling down as the Bruins continued to push the ball. Transition baskets gave them quick leads, but also contributed to multiple missed shots. Heading into the half, La Verne took back the lead 39-37. In the first half, the Leopards out-rebounded the Bruins 31-15, 12 being offensive, leading to seven second chance points. Though they struggled on the boards, the Bruin's press showed its value, earning them 11 turnovers, resulting in nine points.

The second half opened with two quick threes from JD Ahlstrom, earning back the lead for Fox. Januik continued to run the offense with two points of his own followed by an offensive rebound and assist, making the score 47-43.

The game bounced back and forth with quick runs from either side, but neither team could hold advantage with the lead. However, with 9:40 left, the Bruins went on a 9-0 run (the largest run of the game), going from 60-61 to 69-61 with free throws from Kalu Stricklin and Emilio Mancol, followed by scores from Lacey Quinn and another three off the hot hands of Ahlstrom.

The Bruins held the lead as both teams continued to trade scores, with the lead maxing at 10 (77-67). A short run with 4:51 left in the game brought La Verne within 3 at 2:33, but the Bruins held out, holding the game with an incredible and-one finish from Ryan Lacey followed by a beautiful lay-up and the sealing free throws from Januik.

Top Performers

Januik lead the Bruins scoring with 24 points, followed by closely by Lacey with 21. On the defensive side, Stricklin and Dalzell make their presence known, forcing turnovers in the press and accounted for two blocks a piece. The Bruin bench accounted for 18 points, including 10 coming from Mancol.

What It Means

George Fox improves to 4-1 in the early stages of the 2019-2020 season.

What Happens Next

The Bruins won't take the court again until Friday, Dec. 6, when they travel to New Haven, Conn., to take on the Albertus Magnus Falcons. Tip-off is at 2:00 pm Pacific.