Jan 03, 2020

Bruins Bounce Back From Skid With Big Win Over Willamette

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 Hayes

NEWBERG --- The George Fox Bruins opened conference play and the New Year by dismantling the Willamette Bearcats with a final score of 87-56.

Recap

The Bruins took advantage of the first possession off the tip with a 3-pointer from Ryan Lacey and never looked back.  A quick seven points turned into a 17-2 run by the time Willamette scored its first points and by the time the first half was over, George Fox had almost double the points of the Bearcats, leading 46-24.  Lacey led George Fox in scoring for the night after totaling 14 in the first half alone.   

The game was all but over before the second half even started, but Lacey poured in more points to jumpstart the offense. With lots of time for development, Coach Maco Hamilton was able to mix up his rotations, allowing for 12 different Bruins to score.  JD Ahlstrom led the second unit with 15 points, followed closely behind by Emilio Mancol who scored 13.    

Besides starting off the new year with a win and halting the five-game losing streak, the Bruins finished with 18 assists, seven higher than the team's season average.  The Bruins made great use of the pick-and-roll throughout the game, often collapsing the defense for a kick-out three or an easy lob for a lay-up.

"We were coming off the little holiday break and we emphasized deficit areas for us to grow in practice and I thought that translated to the floor tonight," Coach Hamilton said after the win. It was great that we could get 15 guys on the floor tonight with good contributions from everyone that played."

Top Performers:

The Bruins' defense showed up in a big way, holding the Bearcats to just 9% from long range (2 for 22) on the night. Lacey played exceptional basketball, finishing the night with 18 points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.  Ahlstrom and Mancol both hit three three-pointers while Kalu Stricklin and Davon Walker both finished with four assists.

What It Means:

George Fox kicks off conference play with a win, moving to 1-0 in NWC play and 5-5 on the season.

What Happens Next:

The Bruins travel to McMinnville, Ore. to play against the Linfield Wildcats on Saturday, Jan. 4 with a tip-off scheduled for 6:00pm.