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Yotes Escape Geoduck Comeback, 76-74

February 18, 2011


OLYMPIA, Wash.  –  The Evergreen Geoducks erased a 14 point deficit in the second half but Matt Ballenger hit a game-winning three with two seconds left to lead the College of Idaho Coyotes to a 76-74 win in a Cascade Collegiate Conference men’s basketball game on Friday night at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.

The Geoducks (8-19, 5-12 CCC) got off to a solid start, building a five point lead over the Coyotes (13-15, 10-7 CCC) early in the contest.  College of Idaho kept things close and grabbed the lead back with 5:56 left in the opening frame but Evergreen kept it close as the ‘Yotes needed a jumper by Kelly McCarty with 25 seconds left to take the 34-33 lead into the halftime break.

In the second half, it looked like the ‘Yotes were going to run away with it as they pushed the lead into double-digits with 13:48 left to go.  The lead was 14 for the Coyotes at the 11:24 mark and C of I was still up by 11 with five minutes left to play but the Geoducks weren’t ready to give in.  An 11-3 run got Evergreen back within three with just over a minute left to play.

After a pair of free throws by the ‘Yotes Miguel Rodriguez, the Geoducks scored six points in 29 seconds to take a one-point lead with just 19 seconds left to play, leaving the ‘Yotes with a chance to win it.  College of Idaho worked the ball down the court and into the hands of Ballenger, who fired from outside the arc and found nothing but net with just two seconds left to give the ‘Yotes the hard-fought victory, 76-74.

Evergreen was led by a season-high 30 points from junior Marice Tolliver (Tacoma, Wash./Lower Columbia CC), who also added six rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block in the loss.  Senior Josh Troyer (Vancouver, Wash./Lower Columbia CC) added 18 points as the Geoducks shot 45.2% from the field but just 60% from the charity stripe.

College of Idaho was led by 20 points for Ballenger, who also added eight rebounds.  McCarty added 19 for the ‘Yotes while Krispin Banks collected the double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.  Steve Peres chipped in 11 points to round out the College of Idaho double-digit scorers.  C of I turned the ball over 21 times on the night but outrebounded Evergreen, 44-33.

The Geoducks will head into Saturday’s regular season finale with #13 Eastern Oregon with a chance to make the postseason but they will need some help.  In order to earn a berth in next week’s CCC Tournament, Evergreen will have to pick up a win over EOU and hope for a loss by Concordia against Southern Oregon.

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Upcoming Games

  • Sat, February 19 vs. Eastern Oregon 7:30pm