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Geoducks miss upset chance, lose 54-53 to NU

February 9, 2007

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A tedious game turned terrific in the final seconds, but the home crowd went home unhappy as Northwest University's Aaron Sawyer nailed a jumper at the buzzer to defeat The Evergreen State College 54-53 on Friday night at the CRC Gym.

Northwest (10-5 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, 21-7 overall) took a 15-3 lead at the outset of the game, but Evergreen ground away and caught the Eagles at 25 just before the half when Sawyer, from nearby Shelton, struck for the first time, hitting a three at the first-half buzzer.

Evergreen (4-11, 8-19) hung around despite shooting just 33.3 percent from the field for the game and trailed just 52-50 with the clock winding down. The Geoducks called a clear out play for Devon Connor-Green, but Sawyer blocked his shot. Evergreen's David Howard made an athletic save to keep the ball in play and it wound up in the hands of Geoduck guard Marcus Whittaker who nailed a three with three seconds to play to give his team its only lead of the night, 53-52.

Evergreen's lead lasted just long enough for the teams to call a combined three full time outs to ponder the situation. Northwest then threw an uncontested in-bounds pass to midcourt and called another time out. Coach John Van Dyke's marker whipped up some magic on the play board as Northwest sprung Sawyer free with a back screen and the 6-8 senior scored from the short left corner right in front of the Eagles bench.That basket gave Sawyer a team-high 21 points to go with 14 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Whittaker led the game in scoring with 25 while Adam Moore tallied 13 and Connor-Green 10 for Evergreen.

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