Dec 22, 2012

GEORGE FOX 61, PACIFIC 56: Bruins Beat Boxers in OT to Open Conference Play

A Winning Tradition

  • NCAA D-III National Champions (2009)
  • Three NCAA "Final Four" appearances (2009, 2012, 2015)
  • Six NCAA "Elite 8" appearances (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015)
  • Nine NCAA "Sweet 16" appearances (2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016)
  • 14 NCAA National Tournament appearances in 18 years (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • 12 Northwest Conference Championships (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018)
  • 25 straight winning seasons (1994-2018)
  • 14 Top 25 national rankings (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Three NCAA Division III National Coaches of the Year
  • Six NCAA Division III Region Coaches of the Year
  • 11 Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 20 All-Americans
  • One Academic All-American
  • Three Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Finalists (Justine Benner - 2015, Keisha Gordon - 2012, Katy Campbell - 2008)
  • One Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Winner (Kristen Shielee - 2009)
  • One George Fox Pasero Team of the Year (2009)
  • One Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award (Scott Rueck - 2009 finalist)

NEWBERG, Ore.Jami Roos hit a three-pointer to put George Fox University ahead for good in overtime, then added five late free throws to secure the Bruins' eighth straight win, a 61-56 victory over the upset-minded Pacific University Boxers in Northwest Conference women's basketball Saturday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center's Miller Gym.

George Fox, which is 21st in the latest NCAA Division III poll and 22nd in the WBCA poll, improved to 8-2 overall in winning its conference opener.  It was the Bruins' 19th consecutive victory over the Boxers and 32nd in the last 33 meetings.  They also extended their overall winning streak against NWC competition to 31, their home-court winning streak against NWC teams in regular-season action to 50, and their home-court streak against NWC opponents in all games (including NWC Tournament and post-season play) to 53.  Pacific slipped to 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

Both teams struggled offensively in the early going; midway through the first half, the score was only 8-8 and both were shooting barely over .200.  Justine Benner's layup gave George Fox a 10-8 lead, but Erica Colter hit a three at the 8:57 mark to put Pacific on top 11-10 and the Boxers led the rest of the half. 

A three by Alex Pfefferle followed by a Colter layup gave Pacific the largest lead of the game at 29-18 with 1:40 left, but the Bruins scored the final seven points of the stanza to trim their deficit to 29-25.  Two free throws and a layup by Hannah Munger and a three at the buzzer by Roos pulled the Bruins within range.

The second half began as the first had, both teams finding it difficult to score as the Bruins managed only eight points and the Boxers five in the first 10 minutes of the period.  Pacific took a seven-point lead of 34-27 on a jumper in the lane by Paige Jensen with 16:08 to play, but the Boxers went scoreless for nearly eight minutes thereafter as the Bruins rallied.  A three by Hayley Cusick, a jumper by Megan Arnoldy, and a three by Roos gave George Fox its first lead of the half at 35-34 with 9:56 left, and the Bruins eventually stretched the margin to five at 46-41 with 4:09 remaining on a layup by Megan Hays.

Another three by Pfefferle, her fourth of the game, and back-to-back baskets by Heather Hitch gave Pacific a 48-46 lead with 2:10 to go.  Arnoldy's two free throws with 58 seconds left knotted it 48-48.  Jensen missed a go-ahead shot with 31 seconds left but got her own rebound, and the Boxers milked the clock until Pfefferle missed a potential winning three with a second to go, sending the game into overtime.

Pacific drew first blood in the extra period with a driving layup by Pfefferle, but George Fox struck back with a Munger free throw and Arnoldy jumper.  A bucket by Jensen gave the Boxers their final lead of 52-51 with three minutes left, but Roos drained a long-range bomb from the right corner at the 2:40 mark to make it 54-52 and the Bruins never trailed again.  Their final seven points came on free throws, Roos sinking 5-of-6 from the stripe in the final 37 seconds to offset a three by Kaila Johnson.

Munger scored 15 points and Roos 14 to lead the Bruins, who finished with a .420 shooting percentage (21-50), including .357 (5-14) from long distance, and .636 (14-22) from the line.  Munger had eight rebounds as the Bruins controlled the glass 44-34.  Cusick passed out six assists.  The Bruins committed 21 turnovers to only 12 by the Boxers.

Pfefferle paced the Boxers with 18 points, Jensen added a double-double with 15 points and 14 boards, and Hitch scored 13.  Colter handed out five assists.  Pacific ended with a .354 shooting mark (23-65), including .300 (6-30) from three-point range, and .500 (4-8) from the charity stripe.

NEXT: After a short Christmas break, the Bruin return to action on Monday, Dec. 31, at 7:00 p.m. against Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore.  The Pioneers, at 10-0, are ranked 6th nationally in both D-III polls.  The Bruins and Pioneers shared the NWC title two years ago, and last year, George Fox handed Lewis & Clark its only four losses of the season ... Pacific visits New Hope Christian College in Eugene, Ore., on Dec. 31 for a 2:00 p.m. non-conference encounter.