High Pressure Game Ends with 96-87 Win for ESC

Feliciano (L) and Levi force timeout. Photo by Katherine Turner
Feliciano (L) and Levi III force a timeout. Photo by Katherine Turner

January 6, 2009

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Northwest University never let up in tonight's game at the Greenhouse. NU, who is fast moving up the NAIA Div II polls with votes received this week, marked key ESC players to limit the scoring possibilities.

The big shooters for ESC were heavily guarded. Nick Moore and Nathan Menefee found few openings to make field goal attempts, resulting in a strategy change by the Geoduck's coaching staff.

Switching to Michael Ward as the go-to man turned out to be a good call for ESC. Ward proceeded to rack up 28 points by the end of the game, a season and career high for the senior from Kansas City.

With 5 minutes to go, Evergreen seemed to have the momentum to pull away for good from the scrappy, determined team from Kirkland, WA with a nine point lead.

A minute later Evergreen had 2 turnovers in a row that allowed NU to sink two three pointers and add a field goal, trimming the ESC advantage to just one point.

"Northwest knows they can play with anyone in the league right now" noted head coach Jeff Drinkwine following the game.

Adding, "They (Northwest) double teamed Nate. Michael stepped up perfectly to cover".

It was a close battle for the final four minutes, with any advantage by Evergreen being quickly swallowed up by Northwest who capitalized on any ESC mistakes.

With two minutes on the clock, John Levi's technical foul put NU within 1 point again after Eagle Blake Solomon was able to sink all three free shots.

The #15 NAIA Geoducks again found momentum on a Julio Feliciano's field goal to gain enough cushion to hold on for the win.

Evergreen will now improve to a 5-1 conference record and 9-4 overall and maintains 3rd position in the CCC.

Northwest sits at 5th with a 4-3 and 10-6 record.

Eastern Oregon and College of Idaho will prove to be tough opponents this weekend for Evergreen at home.

The Mounties of EOU (NAIA #19) paired up Tuesday night and went into overtime. CI came out on top for a surprising 85-81 win.

Friday's game with EOU begins at 7:30 following the women's game. Same time and place for the matchup with the Yotes on Saturday.

Box Score