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Bruin basketball round-up: Men's team splits another pair of Northwest Conference games

GFU PHOTO - Senior guard Emily Spencer contributed to a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint for the Bruins against Linfield.

Following wins over Puget Sound and Lewis & Clark, the No. 21 George Fox University women's basketball team maintained its winning ways with a pair of victories last week. A 62-50 win over Linfield on Friday and 71-53 victory at Willamette on Saturday made it four in a row for the team.

The Bruins (15-4, 7-3 Northwest Conference) are now third in the NWC standings behind Pacific (8-2 in conference) and Whitman (9-1) – two teams that beat GFU this season.

Against Linfield, the Bruins went back-and-forth in the first quarter and trailed 10-9 after one. Then a strong second quarter gave them a three-point lead at the break. It was a steady finish for the Bruins from there as they won the third quarter by six and the fourth quarter by three en route to a 12-point win over their Yamhill County rivals.

Cassidy Posey came off the bench and finished with a game-high 15 points for the Bruins, who shot just under 34 percent in the victory while holding the Wildcats to 31.5 percent shooting. GFU won the rebounding battle 48-31 in the contest and scored 32 points in the paint compared to Linfield's 18.

The Bruins avenged a previous loss to Willamette with a blowout win in the second game of the season series, shooting a much stronger 45 percent in the contest. GFU led 35-29 at the half, then rode strong third and fourth quarters to the 18-point win.

Emily Holder led the way with 16 points for GFU. A 40-30 rebounding advantage in the contest was complemented by a 40-16 advantage for the Bruins when it came to points in the paint.

The Bruins played an important game on Tuesday night after press time, hosting Pacific in a game that would likely determine the No. 2 team in the Northwest Conference. GFU lost 61-47 in their road game against Pacific back on Jan. 7, so the team aimed to make it five in a row with a crucial conference victory.

Next up for GFU is a game against Pacific Lutheran on Friday in Newberg. After that, four conference games remain for the Bruins before the NWC tournament – including a big game at No. 8-ranked conference leader Whitman on Feb. 14.

Men drop one, win one

The season has proven to be up-and-down affair for the GFU men's basketball team, and that was no different last week as it split a pair of games. The Bruins (8-11, 4-6 NWC) lost 91-87 to Linfield on Friday before beating Willamette 86-76 on Saturday.

The rivalry matchup with the Wildcats was a comeback effort by the Bruins that fell short. Linfield led 47-39 at the half, but GFU was able to take the lead with just over three minutes to go. A clutch three-pointer by Zach Sly made it 81-78 Bruins with 3:29 remaining.

Unfortunately for GFU, however, the Wildcats retook the lead and never relinquished it. While the game was tied at various points down the stretch, Linfield executed in the game's waning moments and emerged from Newberg victorious.

Kalu Stricklin led GFU with 19 points, while Linfield got a game-high 27 points from Dempsey Roggenbuck.

A second half explosion by the GFU offense ended up being the difference against Willamette. The Bruins entered the half down 37-31 to the Bearcats, but a 55-39 second half advantage was enough for the double-digit win.

Ryan Lacey went off for GFU in the win, putting up a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. GFU shot a shade under 45 percent on the night and overcame 22 turnovers. The Bruin bench scored an impressive 34 points in the contest.

Looking ahead, the men's team will play Pacific and Pacific Lutheran this week.


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