Marcus Buren scored only five points in the game, but those five points all came in overtime on Saturday afternoon and provided Evergreen State with the impetus as it defeated Pacific Lutheran, 79-72, in the PLU Thanksgiving Classic at Olson Auditorium.
The win is Evergreen State's first of the year against six losses, while Pacific Lutheran falls to 2-2 for the season.
The score was tied 70-70 with two minutes remaining in the overtime period when Elzie Dickens grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Buren, who buried a jumper to make it 72-70 with 1:52 remaining. The Lutes missed three shots on the other end of the floor before Buren took another pass from Dickens and buried a three-point shot from the right wing to make it 75-70 with 1:02 left on the clock.
After missing two potential game-winning free throws with three seconds left, Evergreen State didn't miss in overtime as first Marice Tolliver and then Tyrell Stephens both knocked down a pair of charity tosses. Stephens' shots gave the Geoducks a 79-70 lead with 23 seconds left, icing the game.
PLU led by as many as 10 points in the opening half, taking a 25-15 advantage of a jumper by Drew Earnest with 9:35 on the clock. Evergreen State replied, tying the game at 32-32 on Travis Wagner's three-point basket with 2:06 left, and eventually leading at the break, 35-34.
The second half was close throughout with five ties and three lead changes. The Geoducks had a five-point lead on several occasions, while the Lutes had a pair of three-point advantages.
Tolliver led the Geoducks with 22 points, though the Lutes harassed him into 7-for-24 shooting in the game. He added seven rebounds in the game, giving him 56 points and 24 rebounds in Evergreen State's two tournament games. Patrick Lewis scored 16 points and tied Buren and Dickens with a team-high nine rebounds. Stephens had 12 points, six assists and four steals for the Geoducks.
Both teams shot 38 percent from the field and they also tied with 46 rebounds apiece.
Pacific Lutheran's backcourt duo of senior James Conti and junior Andrew Earnest combined for 48 points, Earnest leading all players with 25 points. Earnest also had seven rebounds, while Conti added six boards, five assists and five steals to his line. Kai Hoyt had 15 points as the Lutes got 63 of their 72 total points from that trio.
- PLU -