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Bruins basketball round-up: Men pick up a key victory, while women experience rare loss

After a stretch of five consecutive losses, the George Fox University men's basketball team returned from a short vacation with an eye on breaking the streak. The Bruins (5-6, 1-1 Northwest Conference) did just that on Jan. 3 with an 87-56 win over Willamette.

The game provided a proverbial sigh of relief for the Bruins, who were struggling in the early part of their campaign and opened conference play with the victory. They did so thanks in large part to a 17-2 run to start the game against the Bearcats.

GFU shot just 42 percent in the blowout win and held Willamette to a paltry 31.6 percent shooting on the night. The Bruins won the rebounding battle 52-46 and forced 17 turnovers on the night.

Leading the way in the scoring department for GFU was junior Ryan Lacey with 18. The GFU bench scored a season-high 44 in the contest and sophomore Zach Sly led the team in rebounding with eight to go along with six points.

The team followed up its victory over Willamette with a 107-83 loss to rival Linfield on Jan. 4. Linfield shot a blistering 66 percent on the night, led by 31 points from Dempsey Roggenbuck.

The Bruins had a solid offensive outing, but their defense did them in on Saturday. Senior Wesley Reynolds led GFU with 24 points on the night – a career-high. The remainder of the starting lineup managed just 25 points.

GFU played a road game at Pacific University on Tuesday night after The Graphic went to press. Its next game is on Saturday at Pacific Lutheran.

Women split pair of conference games

The No. 8 ranked GFU women's team had a slight slip-up in its first conference contest, falling to Willamette 50-45. The Bruins (9-2, 1-1) followed that up with a 76-66 victory at Linfield to split the week of conference-opening games.

With the game tied 22-22 at the half, a third quarter run by the Bearcats ended up being the difference on Jan. 3. Willamette won the third quarter 18-8 and a comeback attempt in the fourth by GFU wasn't enough to escape the upset.

GFU's offense struggled on the night, shooting 28 percent from the field and failing to capitalize on committing just three turnovers. Plainly, the Bruins just shot the ball poorly and it lost them the game.

Senior Emily Spencer led the team with 14 points, while Willamette got a game-high 15 out of Sami Riggs.

A strong finish to the game against Linfield led to the 10-point victory, with the Bruins winning the fourth quarter 24-16. Emily Holder and Kaylee Bishop led the way with 15 points and GFU won the rebounding battle 46-27.

The women also played at Pacific University on Tuesday night and look forward to a matchup with Pacific Lutheran on Saturday.

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