OLYMPIA, Wash. – Junior Travis Wagner (Federal Way, Wash./Green River CC) hit a three-pointer for the Evergreen Geoducks with less than ten seconds to go in regulation to force overtime but it was the 20th-ranked Northwest Eagles who escaped with the 94-89 double-overtime win in a Cascade Conference men’s basketball game on Saturday night at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.
The Eagles (10-2, 1-0 CCC) built a solid lead early as they found themselves leading by double-digits with 6:41 left to go in the first half following a basket in the paint by Jeremy Paull. Northwest continued to show why they were nationally ranked the remainder of the first half as they held a 32-20 lead at the break. NU took advantage of nine Evergreen turnovers in the first half, scoring 18 points following Geoduck miscues.
In the second half, the Geoducks (1-5, 0-1 CCC) slowly began to chip away at the Northwest lead, pulling back within single-digits within the first two minutes. The Eagles continued to hold off Evergreen as the half hit the midway point but the Geoducks weren’t done fighting.
Down 64-52 with 5:54 left to play, the Geoducks hit three-straight three-points to cut the gap to four at 65-61 with 4:20 left on the clock. A three-ball by Wagner with 2:17 left pulled the Geoducks within one and another Wagner long-ball with 51 seconds left put Evergreen up by one at 71-70.
With 16 seconds left in regulation, Ryan McIntosh hit a pair of free throws that put Northwest up by three at 76-74 but Wagner hit one from deep with just under 10 seconds left and the attempt at the buzzer by NU’s Michael Russo didn’t fall as the two teams ended the second half tied at 76.
The first overtime was much like the closing minutes of the second half as the teams battled back and forth. Northwest’s Michael Greene went to the line with two seconds left and hit a pair of free throws that put the Eagles up by two at 83-81 but Evergreen’s Elzie Dickens (Seattle, Wash./Highline CC) banked one in from the paint as the buzzer sounded to force a second overtime.
The Eagles finally finished their mission in the second overtime as they pounded the Geoducks down low, scoring six of their 11 points in the paint as Northwest escaped Olympia with the 94-89 win.
Evergreen was led by 23 points from Wagner, who played 43 minutes for the Geoducks. Junior KJ Hong (Federal Way, Wash./Shoreline CC) had 20 points, including six-of-seven on free throws while Dickens finished with 14 points on the bench to go with a team-high eight rebounds. The Geoducks shot 44.9% for the game, making 31 of 69 attempts, including 15 of 28 from behind the arc.
Northwest was led by a monster performance from Greene, who put up 32 points and 13 rebounds, also adding five assists in the win. Russo added 26 points for the Eagles while Brett Skogstad came off the bench to score 11 on the night. The Eagles controlled the glass on the night, finishing with 46 rebounds compared with 36 for Evergreen.
The Geoducks are back in action next Friday when they play host to Lewis-Clark State in a non-conference game. Tip with the Warriors is set for 7 pm at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.