Evergreen is once again the best men's basketball team in the Greater Olympia area
November 12, 2003
by James J. Portune
OLYMPIA, WA -- The 80-76 final score does not naturally speak of the dominance that The Evergreen State College Men's Basketball team (0-0 Cascade Conference, 1-0 Overall) displayed over the Saint Martin's Men's Basketball team (0-0 Greater Northwest Athletic Conference, 0-0 Overall). The final score does say that the Geoducks let the Saints back into the game in the final 7 minutes.
But that really does not matter. The simple factor is that Evergreen won this year's cross-town rivalry and can say for the next 365 days that they are the best men's basketball team in the Greater Olympia area.
Where Evergreen achieved their 13-point half time lead, 46-33, was from behind the 3-point arc and from behind the free throw line. In the first half, the Geoducks converted 8 of 16 three-point shots (50%) and missed only 1 free throw (8 of 9).
Saint Martin's on the other end of the court hit 3 of 9 three pointers (33%) and gave first year head coach Keith Cooper a lot to talk about in the half-time locker when they made 2 of 5 free throws (40%).
All throughout the contest the battle for rebounds was virtually equal. Evergreen had 19 boards at half time and finished the game with 45 total, 17 offensive and 28 defensive. Saint Martin's pulled down 16 rebounds in the first 20 minutes, then finished the game with 41 total, 12 offensive and 29 defensive.
Individually, junior Walter Tucker (Jackson, Miss./Wingfreld H.S.) and junior transfer Julius Marshall (Issaquah, Wash./Issaquah H.S.) both had good rebounding nights, pulling in 10 board each.
But rebounding was not the only thing Tucker did well against Saint Martin's. His 20 points was a game high and combined with the 10 rebounds gave him his double double game in an Evergreen uniform. Additionally, the five steals his was created with was also a game high.
Where Evergreen began to falter tonight was when they got tired in the second half.
With 6:44 left in the game, senior Adam Laneer's (Tumwater, Wash./Tumwater H.S.) jump shot would prove to be Evergreen's last field goal of the game, maintaining Evergreen's 11 point lead, 68-79.
From then on there are one of two ways to explain how Saint Martin's made the final minutes exciting. Option 1 is the five consecutive uncontested field goals Evergreen missed. Option 2 is the 6 of 7 free throw Evergreen did not make. Either way the final outcome was much closer than it should have been. But the positive side is that it did give the Geoducks valuable experience closing out a tight game.
Tonight's new found experience will be tested seven days from now. Next Wednesday (Nov. 19), Evergreen will play their first home game against Lewis-Clark State College. That game, to be played in The Greenhouse, will start at 7:30 p.m.