EUGENE, Ore. – The Evergreen Geoducks cut a nine-point halftime deficit to just one point midway through the second half but the Northwest Christian Beacons held on for the win, 68-55, in a Cascade Conference men’s basketball game on Saturday night at Morse Event Center in Eugene, Ore.
In the first half, the Beacons busted out to a double-digit lead less than six minutes into the game as the Geoducks struggled shooting and couldn’t get any free points, going without a free throw attempt all half. After NCU held the 10+ point lead for much of the half, the Geoducks cut the Beacon lead to nine on a layup by Dre Taylor (Seattle, Wash./Garfield HS/North Idaho College) with eight seconds left that put the halftime score at 32-23 in favor of Northwest Christian.
In the second half, the Geoducks came out hustling as a three-pointer by senior KJ Hong (Federal Way, Wash./Decatur HS/Shoreline CC) with 9:57 left to play put Evergreen back just one point at 43-42. Travis Pacos hit a jumper for NCU 16 seconds later and the Beacons would go on a 13-2 run to put them back up by 12 points. Northwest Christian would maintain control the rest of the way, earning the 68-55 win.
Evergreen was led by 20 points off the bench from Taylor. Kyle Calhoun (Seattle, Wash./Hazen HS/Marshalltown CC) added 15 points in the loss. The Geoducks shot 34.4% from the field, making 21 of 61 attempts, and attempted just 10 free throws all night, compared with 25 for NCU.
Northwest Christian was led by 20 points and nine rebounds from Pacos. Spencer Coleman and Coleton Baker added 15 points in the win. NCU shot 44.2% on the night, making 23 of 52 attempts, but the Beacons were truly aided by 19 of 25 shooting from the charity stripe for 76%.
Evergreen returns to Oregon on Monday afternoon for a matinee exhibition against NCAA Division I Portland State. Tip with the Vikings is set for 2:05 p.m. at the Stott Center in Portland, Ore.