OLYMPIA, Wash. – After Evergreen erased a 12-point deficit to take the late lead, sixth-ranked Southern Oregon retook the lead with 38 second left as the Raiders held on for an 80-76 win over the upset-minded Geoducks in a Cascade Conference men’s basketball game on Friday night at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.
The nationally-ranked Raiders took control early but the Geoducks were determined to keep it close and they did just that. After SOU held the lead for much of the half, Evergreen tied it up on a jumper by Kyle Calhoun (Seattle, Wash./Hazen HS/Marshalltown CC) with 3:58 to play in the opening period. The Raiders pushed the pace the last few minutes, taking a 42-35 lead heading into the break.
In the second half, the Raiders looked like they might pull away as the lead hit 12 points with 10:54 left to play but the Geoducks weren’t going to give up that easily. A 14-2 Evergreen run tied the game at 65-65 with 7:11 left to play and a three-pointer by Calhoun with six minutes left put the Geoducks up by one, 68-67.
Evergreen continued to chase the upset win, holding a lead heading into the final minute before SOU’s Tim Weber hit a three-pointer with 38 seconds left to go and the Raiders hit their free throws down the stretch, earning the 80-76 win.
“I’m proud of the heart our guys played with tonight,” said head coach Arvin Mosley. “ I think we really embodied the ‘fear the clam’ mentality that we have preached all season long.”
Evergreen was led by 16 points from Dre Taylor (Seattle, Wash./Garfield HS/North Idaho College. Marc Taylor (Boise, Idaho/Skyview HS/Edmonds CC) and Calhoun each added 15 points. Sophomore Frankie Johnson (Renton, Wash./Hazen HS) added 11 points and nine assists in the tight loss. The Geoducks shot just five free throws on the night, compared with 17 for the Raiders.
Southern Oregon was led by a monster game from 38 points from Eric Thompson. David Sturner added 13 points and 10 rebounds to earn the double-double. Jacob Kaler added 10 points in the win. The Raiders shot 50% on the night, making 27-of-54 attempts from the field.
The Geoducks will be in action again on Saturday night when they play host to Oregon Tech. Tip with the Hustlin’ Owls is set for 7:30 p.m. in Olympia, Wash.