Seniors Light it up for Naught as Geoduck Defense Can't Stop Northwest U's Well-Planned Attack
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Evergreen seniors Nate Menefee and Julio Feliciano combined for 56 points in what turned out to be their final appearance at home, but it wasn't nearly enough as Northwest University controlled the pace for all but a few minutes of the game and advanced in the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament with a decisive 83-72 victory over the Geoducks on Wednesday night at The Greenhouse.
Menefee, who shot just 2-for-10 in the first half, caught fire in the second and finished with 36 points, six rebounds and four assists. Feliciano, nailed a couple of threes and turned in strong work inside to finish with a 20-point, 10-rebound double double. But the rest of the Geoducks combined for just 16 points as they became the only one of four home teams in the night's CCC tournament action to lose.
Northwest was led by Greg George, who turned in an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double, and four other double figure scorers, including Tyson Christie, who's drives to the basket sparked the Eagles in the first half, and Tyler Mendezona, who lifted them in the second. Christie finished with 12 and Mendezona 15, but the timing of their aggressive drives was as important as the totals.
Down 38-26 at the half, Evergreen played its strongest basketball of the night during the first three minutes of the second half when -- fueled by seven Menefee points -- they all but instantly tied the game at 40-40. But just when the seeding order seemed to have been restored, Northwest went on a 18-1 run of its own to take back control.
Northwest (17-13) now travels to top-seeded Oregon Tech for a CCC semi-final game Saturday night in Klamath Falls while 25th-ranked Evergreen (19-10) must wait out the results of various conference tournaments throughout the nation to determine if their ranking will hold up for an at-large berth in the NAIA National Championships next month.