SOU forces Evergreen to change game strategy, 86-75 win was not easy for the Geoducks

Michael Ward

January 26, 2008

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Evergreen State (13-5, 8-4 Cascade Conference) defeated visiting Southern Oregon University (7-15, 3-9 CCC) 86-75 to score their second win of the weekend.

Head coach Jeff Drinkwine had to switch the game plan to counter SOU's heavy watch over Nathan Menefee and Nick Moore, two of Evergreen's top scorers. Fortunately for Evergreen players like Marcus Whittaker and Michael Ward, two very competent scorers, took advantage of the Raider's strategy. Whittaker hit three of six attempts from three point range to add to his game total, including two that put Evergreen in the lead at halftime.

Additionally, Evergreen made some changes to keep SOU away from the basket. "We switched to a regular zone defense" explained Drinkwine. "That change put other players, like Julio (Feliciano), in a strong defensive position to stop shots and rebound the ball".

Feliciano (So. Mt. Tahoma HS) had 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, a steal and 6 points.

Just as the night before, Menefee (So. Timberline HS) managed to get to the basket. He scored his second 24 point game in two days to lead the game scorers. He also added 4 steals and 7 rebounds to his game. Menefee continues to lead the Cascade Conference in scoring and ranks fifth among scorers in the NAIA Div II rankings.

Friday night following the big win over OIT, coach Drinkwine had commented that his biggest worry about tonight's game was that there would be an emotional letdown for the players. His worries ended up being for naught as the team stayed focused and intent to win the game.

"The team is showing myself and everyone that they know what they want. They want to be conference champions".

Evergreen has nine games left in the regular season.

Moore (Jr. Fircrest HS) and Whittaker (Sr. Henryetta, OK) totaled 13 points each. Moore added 4 steals and 8 rebounds. Whittaker scored 9 of his points on 3 pointers, hitting 50% from that distance. Ward (Jr. Kansas City, MO) had 10 points and 3 steals.

For SOU, Josh McDermott led his team with 14 points. Four other players scored in the double-digits for the Raiders. Matt Cowell, who went down with an injury late in the game, and Ryon Pool each had 12 points.

The Geoducks maintain a third place standing in the Cascade Conference.

Evergreen is on the road for their next two games. On Friday February 1st they play Concordia University and the next day at Corban College.

Box Score