CALDWELL, Idaho – Suiting up just seven players, the Evergreen Geoducks couldn’t hold on to a second half lead, falling to the Walla Walla Wolves, 82-75, in an NAIA Division II men’s basketball game on Friday afternoon at the Duane Wolfe Memorial Golden Rule Shoot-out at College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho.
The Geoducks (0-4) fell behind early as the Wolves (1-6) managed to pull ahead by as many as 15 points midway through the opening period. Evergreen then used a 17-5 run to tie the game up, 40-40, on a three-ball by Travis Wagner (Federal Way, Wash./Green River CC) with 2:10 left to go and took their first lead just 57 seconds later on another Wagner three-pointer. WWU had the final push, going on an 8-0 run to end the period and take the 48-43 lead into the break.
In the second half, the rejuvenated Geoducks slowly built up the lead, holding a 66-56 advantage with 11:24 left on the clock but the deeper Wolves gradually began to chip away. Using a 9-0 run that pulled them within one and then taking back the led with 2:29 left to play on a three-pointer by Mark Moore as Walla Walla finished the game ahead to collect the 82-75 win.
Evergreen was led by 19 points from Wagner, who also had nine rebounds on the afternoon. Tyrell Stephens (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS) added 16 points with seven assists while Marice Tolliver (Tacoma, Wash./Lower Columbia College) put up 14 points and nine rebounds. Mike DeRosier (Puyallup, Wash./South Puget Sound CC) finished out the Evergreen scorers in double-digits, chalking up 11 in the loss.
Walla Walla was led by 28 points and 11 rebounds from Moore, who collected the double-double. Bryce Doherty came off the bench to add 12 while Andrew Bailey had out the Windex, cleaning the glass for 11 rebounds.
Evergreen will look to get that elusive first win on Saturday evening when they take on Lewis-Clark State on the second day of the Duane Wolfe Memorial Golden Rule Shoot-out. Tip-off with the Warriors is set for 5:00pm MST in Caldwell, Idaho.