BILLINGS, Mont. – Another strong second-half performance by their Frontier Conference opponent doomed the Evergreen Geoducks for the second straight night, falling to the Montana Western Bulldogs, 90-68, in a NAIA men’s basketball game on Saturday night at the Rocky Mountain College Classic in Billings, Mont.
The Geoducks (0-2) took the initial lead following a three-pointer by Tyrell Stephens (Tacoma, Wash./Mount Tahoma HS) but Montana Western (6-2) took control before long, leading for much of the middle of the period. Evergreen briefly grabbed the lead back with just over seven minutes left to go in the period on a three-pointer by Julian Holliday (Tacoma, Wash./Yakima Valley CC) but a 13-1 run, including eight points in the final minute, gave the Bulldogs a 37-29 halftime lead.
In the second half, UMW continued to push past the Geoducks, pushing the lead into double-digits with 18:18 left to play on a jumper by Cedric Clarington. The Montana Western lead hit 20 with 14:47 to play and hit 35 with 8:54 on the clock. Evergreen battled back, pulling back within 20 with just under a minute to play but it was too little, too late as the Bulldogs collected the 90-68 win.
Evergreen was led by 14 points from Marice Tolliver (Tacoma, Wash./Lower Columbia College). Mike DeRosier (Puyallup, Wash./South Puget Sound CC) and Elzie Dickens (Seattle, Wash./Highline CC) each chipped in 12 points in the losing effort. As a team, the Geoducks shot 40.0% on the night, making 24-of-60 shots on the night, including nine from behind the arc.
Montana Western was led by 21 points from Tacoma product Brandon Brown. Clarington finished with 18 points on the night to go with 10 rebounds while Tyler Hurley chalked up 17. Kyle Erickson put up 12 points as four of five UMW starters finished in double-digit scoring. The Bulldogs shot 50.7% on the night, including 56.8% in the second half, and outrebounded the Geoducks, 50-25.
Evergreen will look to get into the win column on Tuesday night when they travel to Forest Grove, Ore. to take on Pacific. Tip-off with the Boxers is set for 7:00 pm.