Feb 04, 2020

Boxers Even Season Series With Narrow Newberg Win

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 --- The Pacific University Boxers shocked the George Fox Bruins at home on Tuesday, Feb. 4, stealing a game on the Bruins' court by a final of 99-96.


Off the tip, the Boxers held possession, but the Bruins were on the board first with a lay-up from Quinn Lacey, followed up with back-to-back threes by Ryan Lacey and JD Ahlstrom to make the lead 8-3. Pacific, however, found early momentum, capitalizing on early Bruin turnovers to go up 13-8 at the 14:00 mark.   

From there on, both teams got red-hot from three after leaving shooters wide open on the wings. Ahlstrom hit two more threes and a baseline jumper to put the Bruin up 18-15, but Pacific responded with two threes of their own. Both teams were employing a full court press, but neither team had any success with the pressure, leaving wide open threes in transition. Ryan Lacey hit another three and with 7:12 remaining, the Bruins reclaimed the lead 34-32.   

Out of the media timeout, both teams went ice cold from three and the Bruins got themselves into foul trouble, giving the Boxers the bonus. Each team traded shots with the Boxers up 39-37, but Ryan Lacey snapped the cold streak from three with his third triple of the night to put the Bruins back up 40-39. The Bruins stuck with their press and got a turnover that Ahlstrom took to the rim for an and-one layup that he converted to extend the lead.   

The Bruins pushed the lead to as many as eight points, but the Boxers fought back with some quick transition threes to tie it at 47-47.  In the final minutes, the Bruins drew two fouls and got themselves into the bonus as well, using to claim the lead going into the half 52-49. 

To start the second half, Quinn Lacey was the first to score again, but the Boxers went on a little run to tie the game at 54-54.  His brother Ryan stopped the skid and scored back-to-back lay-ups that Zack Sly followed with an inbounds lay-up of his own, putting the Bruins back up 60-57.  Both teams traded shots, but going into the media timeout at 11:21, the Boxers had the lead 70-68.  

Pacific's Nick Drynan came out on fire from three, hitting back-to-back shots from deep, but the Bruins responded with threes of their own.  Ahlstrom buried his fourth three of the night and Michael Mercado-Smith found his stroke too.  Pacific ran into some foul trouble too, granting George Fox the bonus that was immediately taken advantage of.  With 7:21, the Bruins regained the lead 85-82.

Emilio Mancol finished a nifty lay-up with his left hand to put the Bruins up five, but they got into foul trouble as well.  Going into the media timeout at 3:16, the Bruins held the lead 90-86, but the Boxers hit two free throws to cut the lead to two.  Mercado-Smith fouled out on the next possession and the Boxers cut the lead to one.  Good half-court defense got the Boxers forced a miss and was converted on the other side.  Soon after, Drynan hit another three and suddenly the Boxers had the lead at 95-91.   

With 32.2 seconds left in the game, Januik took the ball the full length of the court and laid it up to cut the lead to two.  Immediately after, the Bruins turned to the foul game in hopes to capitalize on missed free throws, but ultimately came up short 99-96.   

Top Performers

Ryan Lacey lead the Bruins in scoring with 24 points (9-15) along with five rebounds and four assists.  Ahlstrom was right behind with 22 points, going 4-7 from deep. Januik had 16 on 6-13 shooting with four assists and a block.   

What It Means

The Bruins fall to 4-7 in conference play and 8-12 overall after dropping the tilt to the Boxers. The Boxers also evened the season series at 1-1 for the 2019-20 season.

What Comes Next

George Fox will play later this week against the Pacific Lutheran Lutes on Friday night at Miller Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled right after the women at 8:00pm.