KIRKLAND, Wash. – A strong start in the second half helped the Evergreen Geoducks open up 2014 victorious, earning a 69-61 win over the Northwest Eagles on Saturday night at NU Pavilion in Kirkland, Wash.
Defense was the name of the game early as the two teams stayed with each other through the first part of the first half, as Northwest held a one-point lead, 13-12, at the first media timeout. The teams traded leads for the remainder of the period, with NU building a lead as large as five at one point but the Geoducks cut the gap to three points at the break, 33-30.
In the second half, Evergreen came out strong, using a 12-3 run to force NU to take two timeouts in the first four minutes as the Geoducks built their biggest lead of the night. The Geoduck lead hit double-digits on a three-pointer by Sammi Clark (Monroe, Wash./Monroe HS/Edmonds CC) with 14:30 left to put Evergreen up 47-36.
Northwest mounted a comeback, pulling back within two points with 11:17 to play at 47-45 and tying it up less than a minute later. After a brief NU lead, the Geoducks evened up again as the two squads sat tied at 50 apiece at the eight-minute media timeout. Evergreen took back the lead on a pair of made free throws by freshman Justina Laney (Tacoma, Wash./Wilson HS) with 7:41 to play the Geoducks wouldn’t trail the rest of the way, holding on for the 69-61 win.
Evergreen was led by 17 points each from Clark and Sadee Jones (Belfair, Wash./North Mason HS). Brittany Gray (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Bainbridge HS/Skagit Valley CC) added 12 points while Jessica Denmon (Oak Harbor, Wash./Oak Harbor HS/Skagit Valley CC) added 10 points in the win. The Geoducks forced NU to turn the ball over 27 times on the night, compared with just 17 for Evergreen.
The Eagles were led by 16 points from Jordan Asher. Sanda Milovic finished with 15 points, 12 of which came in the opening half. Northwest shot 38.5% on the night, making 20-of-52 attempts on the game.
The Geoducks make their first home appearance of the new year on Friday when they play host to Southern Oregon. Tip with the Raiders is set for 5:30 p.m. at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.