OLYMPIA, Wash. – Led by the duo of Rodney Delgardo and Matt Ballenger, the College of Idaho Coyotes picked up their first conference win of the year, defeating the Evergreen Geoducks, 81-67, in a Cascade Conference men’s basketball game on Friday night at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.
A pair of free-throws by Degarbo gave the Coyotes (6-11, 1-5 CCC) the initial lead but senior forward Patrick Lewis (Bremerton, Wash./Olympic College) kept the Geoducks (1-13, 0-5 CCC) competitive early as Lewis scored Evergreen’s first six points.
The green and white kept it close early but the purple-clad ‘Yotes slowly began to pull ahead with the lead hitting double-digits at the 8:28 mark on the second of two free throws by Tyler Young. Evergreen used a 7-0 run to pull back within three but College of Idaho continued to hold the Geoducks at bay, taking the 41-32 lead into the break.
In the second half, the teams went back and forth as Evergreen fought to stay within reach but the ‘Yotes eventually began to wear down the Geoducks as the lead crept back into the teens with 6:11 left to play. Delgardo continued his solid play to the final buzzer, scoring the last three points for CI as they earned the 81-67 win.
Evergreen was led by 21 points from Marice Tolliver (Tacoma, Wash./Lower Columbia College). Lewis finished the night with 15 points and 11 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Junior Travis Wagner (Federal Way, Wash./Green River CC) chipped in 11, including three from behind the arc. The Geoducks took advantage of 25 CI turnovers, putting up 25 points following Coyote giveaways but it wasn’t enough to earn the win.
College of Idaho was led by 30 points from Delgardo, who finished the night shooting 12-of-17 from the field. Ballenger chalked up 28 points, 18 in the second half, to go with a team-high nine rebounds. The Coyotes held a 41-34 advantage in rebounds, including 33 defensive boards.
The Geoducks will open up 2012 on Friday night in Portland, Ore. when they take on Concordia. Tip with the Cavaliers is set for 7:30 pm.