Posted January 17, 2013 by Cooper Point Journal in Sports & Recreation

Men’s Basketball Breaks Conference Slump

Though the Geoducks are stuck in a 1-11 skid since the beginning of the break, the team had a major breakthrough over the break. After going 0-18 against in-conference opponents last season, the Geoducks had a 24-game losing streak against Cascade Conference Teams. This streak was snapped with a 74-64 victory over Northwest Christian on December 18th. Starting guards KJ Hong and Frankie Johnson each scored double digit points, 18 and 15 respectively, while taking 17 of the team’s 33 free throw attempts as Evergreen took advantage of the Knight’s foul prone defense. Combining getting to the line at will, opportunistic defense (8 steals, 24 points off turnovers), and strong outside shooting (41.2 3PT%), the Geoducks only lost the lead once in the second half.

The rest of December wasn’t as easy for the Geoducks. Evergreen dropped five games in between its milestone 200th win against Puget Sound and the Northwest Christian game. After breaking the in-conference losing streak, the Geoducks lost the next four games by more than ten points apiece. The last two games, though also losses, were much more competitive showings by Evergreen.

Friday January 11th the team began its four game road trip through Oregon and played Southern Oregon University that night. SOU, ranked 14th in the nation and 4th in the Cascade Conference, probably didn’t expect to be midway through the first half trying to regain the lead from the Geoducks. The Raiders thought it regained control going into the half with a 44-29 lead over the Geoducks but led by by starting guard Frankie Johnson (16 points and 6 assists), Evergreen racked up 41 second half points, coming close to a major upset before finally falling 70-77 to the Raiders.

The very next game, Evergreen once again flirted with what was almost an upset of titanic proportion. Last year playing the defending national champion Oregon Tech at its home court was daunting for any team with Tech only losing one home game all season, but the Geoducks gave the Owls almost everything it could handle.

Jumping out to an 11-0 lead in just over four minutes of game time, the Owls might have gotten the impression that the Geoducks would just roll over. However, due to some tough defense the Owls were held scoreless as Geoduck freshman guard Michael Potter drained three straight three-pointers and a couple free throws to tie the game up. Tech managed to regain the lead and were up 33-26 going into the half but Evergreen came storming back and with just 38 seconds left, forward Cody Peters tipped in a missed shot to make it a two point game. Oregon Tech managed to make its free throw shots down the stretch and just barely escaped with a 71-68 victory.

Potter finished the game with a career high 20 points, leading all players. Evergreen has two more games in Oregon before returning to Olympia to play College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon back to back on the 25th and 26th.

By David Lukashok