No. 1 SOU escapes Evergreen 52-49

Contact: Erik Snyder (360) 867-6537
Sports Information Director
The Evergreen State College

December 20, 2005

Ashland , OREGON -Upset-minded Evergreen nearly pulled off a win over the nation's top team as the Geoducks lost in the final seconds at Southern Oregon University.

The Geoducks were within a point of the Raiders at 50-49 on a Pat Mattson layup with 52 seconds left, and then stole a Raider post-entry pass 14 seconds to get a chance at the lead. But Evergreen was denied the go-ahead basket when SOU All-American forward Shea Washington snatched a Luke Hammond pass at the top of the key and proceeded to convert two critical free throws with 11 seconds to go giving the Raiders the 52-49 win.

The Raiders (14-1, 3-0 CC) won their 13th consecutive contest and 11 th straight at home only after Geoduck freshman guard Luke Hammond missed a well-defended 21-foot desperation 3-pointer over the outstretched arms of SOU wing RaShawn McAllister as time expired.

Mattson, a 6-fot-5 junior guard, mustered a game-high 19 points to help Evergreen overcome a 34-23 rebounding deficit.

SOU, which led 28-23 at halftime, shot 41 percent (18 of 44) and 36 percent from beyond the arc (8 of 22). Meanwhile, the deliberate Geoducks committed only six turnovers and finished 20-for-44 from the field (46 percent).

Senior guard Steve Farley, who canned a season-high four 3-pointers, scored 14 points for Southern, which led by as much as nine in the second half (37-28) and 48-43 with three minutes left before the final Evergreen surge.

Washington finished with 12 points and six rebounds - well under his season averages against the swarming Geoduck defense.

With the loss Evergreen falls to 1-2 in conference play. The Geoducks will try to pull to .500 tonight as they visit Oregon Tech University . The Owls are 10-3 overall but are also 1-2 in the league.