Evergreen State uses late run to pull away from LCSC men
LEWISTON, Idaho -- Guard Nathan Menefee scored 12 of his game-high 30 points during a 19-2 run late in the second half to propel Evergreen State College past Lewis-Clark State College 79-65 in the opening round of the Cannon's Building Materials Center Tournament at the LCSC Activity Center on Friday night.
Menefee, a 5-foot-10 senior, used both his quickness on a couple of breakaway layins and his outside shooting touch with a 3-pointer to help the Geoducks overcome a 56-52 deficit with 8:30 remaining in the game.
At that point, the Geoducks went on a 12-0 run as Menefee started the scoring with a long 3-pointer and then scored a couple of easy layins by cherry-picking after a Warrior missed shot. In fact, Evergreen State had three long rebound passes for easy layins during the run.
After a Warrior bucket, the Geoducks followed with a 7-0 run to put the game out of reach. Menefee scored on a drive to basket and the ensuing free throw to complete a three-point play and also added a jumper during that run to help Evergreen State improve to 5-2 on the season.
The fastbreak points turned out to be a big difference in the ballgame. Evergreen State finished with 19 fastbreak points, while LCSC had four.
LCSC, which fell to 6-2 overall, never seemed to get in sync on offense. The Warriors finished the game shooting only 31.3 percent from the field (20-of-64), including just 2-of-12 from the 3-point line. One of the 3-points came in the final 12 seconds of the game.
LCSC's starting lineup combined to go 8-of-41 from the field, 19.5 percent.
The most unusual line of the night belonged to LCSC senior guard Daniel Williams, who nearly had a double-double despite going 0-for-11 from the field. Williams finished with 11 points by going 11-of-14 from the foul line. He also finished with nine rebounds.
Menefee finished 12-of-24 from the field and 3-of-3 at the foul line. He also had five assists and a steal. Teammate Julio Feliciano finished with a double-double as he had a game-high 11 rebounds and 10 points. He also had a game-high seven assists.
Markus Monroe, who missed the last two Warrior games, returned to lead the team in scoring with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting. James Craft added nine rebounds, while Alex King had three steals.
Despite its shooting woes, the Warriors managed to keep the contest close until the big run.
In the first half, LCSC hit only 7-of-30 shots from the field and of its starting five, only Craft made a field goal. He had two in the first half, one of which came in the final 30 seconds.
Despite the shooting woes, the Warriors managed to stay close thanks to a 17-of-24 effort at the foul line, including a 10-of-12 effort from Williams. That helped the Warriors trail just by two, 33-31, at halftime.
Evergreen State, which threatened to pull away early in the game, held a 25-18 rebounding advantage at half and also hit five 3-pointers. The Geoducks, however, had nine turnovers to only two for LCSC. Evergreen State finished with 13 turnovers, compared to 10 for LCSC.
Both teams return to action Saturday in the tournament. In the pre-determined pairings, Evergreen State meets Montana State-Northern at 5 p.m., followed by Eastern Oregon and LCSC at 7 p.m. Eastern Oregon defeated MSU-Northern 68-50 in the other first round game on Friday.