NEWBURG, Ore. – The Lewis & Clark men's basketball team fought the George Fox Bruins through regulation time and one overtime period to pull out a 72-71 Northwest Conference victory on Friday night.
The win improves the Pioneers to 12-6 on the season and 6-3 in conference action. The Bruins slip to 9-8 overall and 5-4 in the NWC. The win puts the Pioneers in second place in the conference rankings, while the Bruins are in a two-way tie for fourth.
Senior Ross Erickson led the Pioneers with a team-high 18 points to go with his six rebounds. James Hollins pulled down a team-high seven boards, while knocking down 15 points. Connor Freeberg chipped in 11 points, while Dexter Pearce contributed nine points.
Anthony Sanchez led all players with 26 points and Seth Brent pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
The first half was two lead changes and the score tied up four times before the Pioneers took complete control with a little over five minutes remaining. Freeberg laid one in to break a 15-15 deadlock with 5:26 until halftime. The Freeberg layup sparked a 10-2 Pio run, earning the team their largest lead of the half. Erickson hit the final shot of the half, sending Lewis & Clark into the half ahead 29-23.
It took five minutes for George Fox to pull itself back into the contest. After tying the game at 38 all with 14:25 on the clock the two sides would scrap it out until the final buzzer. After eight lead changes and five tied scores in the second half alone, the two teams would end regulation tied 62-62.
Both the Pioneers and Bruins continued the battle in the five minute overtime, swapping the lead six times. The game came down to who finished with the ball, that team proved to be the Pioneers. With one second remaining, Freeberg collected an offensive rebound and quickly put it up and had it fall, earning the Pioneers a 72-71 win.
The Pioneers return home for their next contest, hosting Linfield on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.