KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Evergreen Geoducks did nearly everything they could to earn the upset victory but it wasn’t meant to be as the defending national champion Oregon Tech Owls earned a 71-68 win in a Cascade Conference men’s basketball game on Saturday night on Danny Miles Court in Klamath Falls, Ore.
After the Owls got off to an 11-0 lead, freshman Michael Potter (Ridgefield, Wash./Ridgefield HS) singlehandedly brought the Geoducks back, hitting three three-pointers and a pair of free throws to knot the game at 11.
Evergreen continued the run and built a four-point lead before the Owls took back the advantage. OIT continued to hold the advantage, though a late Geoduck run cut the lead heading into the break as Oregon Tech led 33-26.
In the second half, OIT continued to push the pace as the advantage went back into double-digits on a three-pointer by Mihajlo Matic with just under nine minutes left. The Geoducks didn’t give up as a three-pointer by Frankie Johnson (Renton, Wash./Hazen HS) with 1:14 left to play brought Evergreen back within four points at 63-59 heading into the final minute of the game.
A tip-in by Cody Peters (Coupeville, Wash./Western Oregon Univ.) with 38 seconds put the differential at just two points but David Clarke hit a pair of free throws to put OIT up by four once again. The Geoducks kept fighting but the Owls hit their free throws down the stretch as OIT earned the 71-68 win to snap a seven-game CCC losing streak.
Evergreen was led by 20 points from Potter, who scored double-digit points for the first time in his collegiate career. Peters finished with 17 points on the night, including a pair of authority-grabbing dunks. The Geoducks shot 42.9% for the night, making 24-of-56 attempts, including nine from behind the arc.
Oregon Tech was led by 17 points from Josh Johnson, who also had 12 rebounds to earn the double-double. Matic added 13 points while Clarke finished with 12 points in the win. The Owls outrebounded the Geoducks, 45-37, on the night.
Evergreen opens up the second half of conference play on Friday night when they travel to Northwest Christian. Tip with the Beacons is set for 7:30 p.m. in Eugene, Ore.