GEORGE FOX 71, PACIFIC 64: Wiseley Leads Bruins by Boxers in NWC Home Opener
NEWBERG, Ore. – Led by Stephen Wiseley's 25 points, one short of his career high, the George Fox University Bruins built an 11-point second-half lead and held off the Pacific University Boxers to win their Northwest Conference men's basketball home opener 71-64 Saturday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center's Miller Gym.
The Bruins snapped a three-game losing streak with the win, improving to 4-9 overall and evening their conference slate at 2-2. The Boxers fell to 3-10 overall and 2-2 in the NWC.
The first half was nip-and-tuck until late in the period, with five ties and 12 lead changes. The Bruins took the largest lead of the first 18 minutes when Mike Taylor canned a jumper for a 26-21 margin with eight minutes to play. The Boxers responded with an 8-2 run, taking a 29-28 lead on a basket by Carson Bartlett, and upped it to 33-30 on an Andrew Beatty layup with four minutes to go.
The rest of the half belonged to the Bruins, who closed with a 12-0 run to take a 42-33 lead into the break. Wiseley capped the outburst with two three-pointers and a layup, giving him 20 first-half points on 8-10 shooting, including 4-6 on threes. The Bruins shot .552 (16-29) in the half to .500 (12-24) for the Boxers, who were led by Bartlett and LeMar Anglin with 12 apiece.
The Bruins took 11-point leads three times in the first four minutes of the second half, the last at 50-39 on another trey by Wiseley, before the Boxers rallied. Two straight steals for layups by Colin Wester and a basket by Anglin cut the Bruins' lead to six before Matt Zandbergen hit a shot for the Bruins. Undeterred, the Boxers added five more points on another Wester layin and a three-point play by Anglin that made it a two-point game, 52-50, with 10:29 left.
Corey Clark got the Bruins going again with a long-range three, and after a Pacific basket by Beatty, Zandbergen scored again inside and Taylor drilled a three for a 60-52 George Fox lead with 8:07 to go. The Bruins again built 11-point bulges at 67-56 on a Clark free throw with 3:01 left and at 69-58 on a Rich Smith layup with 59 seconds to go.
After Phil Stanford hit a layup and free throw with 51 seconds left to cut it to 69-61, the Boxers took advantage of two missed one-and-ones by the Bruins. Anglin drove for a bucket and Adam McElwee hit the first of a two-shot foul to make it 69-64 with 25 ticks left, but Taylor sealed the Bruins' win with a pair of free tosses with 23 seconds to go for the eventual final score as the Boxers missed two late three-point tries.
Wiseley sank 10-14 field goals, including 5-8 threes, for his game-leading 25, while Smith added 15. Taylor had his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards, leading the Bruins to a 34-31 edge in rebounds. Wiseley also handed out five assists.
Anglin's 20 points led the Boxers, with Bartlett scoring 16 on 6-7 shooting from the field, and Wester adding 11 along with three steals. McElwee had a team-leading seven rebounds.
NEXT: George Fox hosts unbeaten Whitworth University (13-0), the NWC leader and No. 4-ranked team in the nation, Friday at 8:00 p.m. ... Pacific entertains Linfield College Friday, also at 8:00 p.m. ... Both games will be part of NWC doubleheaders, with women's games preceding at 6:00 p.m.