SPOKANE, Wash. – After holding a lead early, the Great Falls Argonauts slipped back into the lead in the closing minutes, defeating the Evergreen Geoducks, 64-61, in a non-conference men’s basketball game as part of the Red Lion Cascade/Frontier Challenge on Friday night at Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, Wash.
Great Falls used a great start to build a 10-2 lead but the Geoducks fought back, pulling back within five on a three-ball by KJ Hong (Federal Way, Wash./Shoreline CC) with 14:49 to go in the first half. Senior Elzie Dickens (Seattle, Wash./Highline CC) go the Geoducks within two with 12:58 left to play as Evergreen continued to battle.
The Argos went on a bit of a run towards the midpoint of the first half, pushing the lead back to nine with 10:48 left in the opening half. Evergreen fought back to get within one with 7:00 left to go on a free throw by Cody Peters (Coupeville, Wash./Western Oregon). The Geoducks took their first lead of the game with just over six minutes left on a jumper by Darryl Jordan (Portsmouth, Va./Bluefield College).
Both teams continued to battle for the remainder of the first half as a three-pointer by Hong with 51 seconds left gave the Geoducks a 36-33 lead heading into the break, their first halftime lead in the last 22 games. Evergreen shot 46.67% in the first half, compared with 41.38% by Great Falls. The Geoducks also held a 24-14 advantage on the boards in the opening period.
In the second half, the Argos tied the game back up with a pair of free throws at 15:19 but the Geoducks answered right back on a Peters’ three-pointer. The Geoducks continued to push the lead, pulling ahead by eight with 13:13 remaining, forcing UGF to take a time out.
The Argos tied up the game with 5:14 left on a jumper by Marcel Towns that knotted the game at 57 all and then took a one-point lead on the back-end of a pair of free throws with 4:06 remaining in the second half. Hong hit a jumper with 2:08 that tied the game back up at 61 entering the final minutes of the game.
With time ticking down, Great Falls managed a free throw by Miguel Bocachica and then a jumper by TJ Harris with just six second left to put the Argos up by three. The Geoducks had one final chance to force overtime but the three-point shot by Peters didn’t fall, allowing UGF to escape with a 64-61 win.
Evergreen was led by 17 points from Hong, including four baskets from behind the arc. Peters finished with 15 points on the night. The Geoducks finished the game shooting 38.9% from the field and outrebounding the Argos, 39-30, on the night.
Great Falls was led by 18 points from Towns. Holmes finished with 14 points while Bocachica chipped in 11 points in the win. The Argos made 21-of-50 attempts for the night and were aided by 20-of-33 free throws following 21 fouls called on the Geoducks, compared with just 14 for UGF.
The Geoducks are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they take Montana Tech as part of the Red Lion Cascade/Frontier Challenge. Tip with the Orediggers is set for 2 p.m. at Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, Wash.