FOREST GROVE, Ore.- For the second time in as many games, the Pacific University men’s basketball team saw their contest head to overtime. This time, the Boxers prevailed with an 83-75 victory over Lewis & Clark to earn their first Northwest Conference win of their season.
The Boxers (5-8, 1-3 NWC) moved the ball very well, posting a field-goal percentage of 47.4% (22-57) with 42 points in the paint. Pacific used their defensive pressure to force 24 turnovers and hold their opponents to just 25% from three-point range.
Lewis & Clark (6-7, 0-5 NWC) won the rebounding battle 44-33 but were held in check by the Boxer defense. The Pioneers were led by Jayden Simpson who scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Ethan Chung (Junior/San Ramon, CA) scored a season-high 21 points to lead all scorers in the contest. The junior was 7-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the free throw line.
Lucas Winkler (Freshman/Portland, OR) enjoyed his best night in a Pacific uniform with a career-high 19 points. Using nine free throws and two three-pointers, the point guard was a focal point for the Boxer offense.
Isaiah Africano (Junior/Pearl City, HI) reached double figures with 14 points while Jacob Bolger (Junior/Portland, OR) added 12 points and three blocks on the defensive end.
How It Happened
Pacific opened the game on a 7-0 run sparked by a Mario Mora (Senior/Bend, OR) three-pointer. Bolger would slam one down before Winkler nailed a shot from beyond the arc to extend the lead at the 12-minute mark. Africano scored back-to-back layups to make it a double-digit lead but the Pioneers would rally to cut the lead to just four points with three minutes left to play in the half.
Winkler hit another triple and rattled off five straight points, but Lewis & Clark managed to even the score at 31 just before the halftime whistle.
The Pioneers raced out of the gate in the second half and took a 12-point lead at the 13-minute mark. The visitors had all the momentum until Chung scored seven straight points to cut the lead to just five points. The teams would trade baskets for the next few minutes until Mora scored a layup and Chung nailed a clutch three ball to tie the score at 68. Both teams were unable to score on their final possessions of regulation and the game would head to overtime.
Lewis & Clark scored on their first trip of overtime but would go scoreless for almost four minutes. The Boxers took advantage of this scoring drought and took a three-point lead with 1:36 left. A wild sequence would provide the game-changing moment when Winkler drove hard to the basket and saw his layup just fall off the rim. Trevon Ridley (Freshman/Murrieta, CA) pulled down the offensive rebound and dished it to Bolger cutting to the basket. Bolger threw down a thunderous dunk despite some contact and knocked down a free throw to seal Pacific’s first conference victory.
By The Numbers
- This was Pacific’s first overtime win since Nov. 8, 2019 at UC Santa Cruz.
Pacific looks to make it back-to-back victories when they head to Walla Walla, Wash. on Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. to face Whitman.
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