OLYMPIA, Wash. – Earning points from 12 different players, the top-ranked Eastern Oregon Mountaineers earned a balanced 82-67 win over the Evergreen Geoducks in a Cascade Conference men’s basketball game on Saturday night at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.
It was the Geoducks (2-19, 1-12 CCC) who took the initial lead as freshman guard Frankie Johnson (Renton, Wash./Hazen HS) nailed a deep three-pointer just 20 seconds in. Eastern Oregon (24-1, 12-1 CCC) answered back with a three-pointer of their own as the Mounties used a 13-2 run to open up an eight point lead.
Evergreen found a run of their own, going on an 8-0 stretch to tie the Mounties, ranked number one for the third straight week in the latest NAIA DII Top 25, at 13-13. Eastern again pushed the pace, building a double-digit lead with 3:50 to go in the first period as the Mountaineers took a 39-26 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Geoducks played right with the top team in the nation, eventually pulling back within single-digits on a layup by Johnson with 3:47 to go in the game. As the clock continued to tick down, the Geoducks were forced to foul, allowing EOU to earn eight of their last 10 points from the charity stripe as Eastern Oregon earned the 82-67 win.
Evergreen was led by a game-high 21 points from Johnson, the third straight 20-plus game for the true freshman. Junior Cody Peters (Coupeville, Wash./Western Oregon Univ.) added 13 points while Marc Taylor (Boise, Idaho/Edmonds CC) chipped in 12 points. The Geoducks shot 36.1% on the night, making 26-of-72 attempts, including nine from behind the arc.
Eastern Oregon was led by 17 points off the bench from Cody Thurmond, including a perfect 10-for-10 on free throws. Trent Roos added 13 points in 20 minutes played while Michael Crane nearly earned the double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. EOU shot 45.6% on the night, sinking 26-of-57 shots, including 11-of-23 from downtown.
The Geoducks hit the road next week, traveling to Portland to take on Warner Pacific. Tip with the Knights is set for 7:30 p.m. in Portland, Ore.