Early second-half run fails to propel Pios to victory

Early second-half run fails to propel Pios to victory

NEWBERG, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers used a 15-2 run to open the second half and built a 10-point lead, but the George Fox Bruins worked back late as the Pioneers dropped their second-to-last regular-season game, 89-86, at Wheeler Sports Center.

Andrew Vickers scored 20 points to lead four Pioneers in double figures as Lewis & Clark worked to a 62-52 lead with 12:34 remaining before the Bruins answered with an 11-3 stretch to close to within three. With the game tied at 81-81 and just over a minute remaining, the Bruins went up six on free throws before finishing the game 2 of 6 from the line to give the Pios a small window. Down three with 0.9 seconds left, Nico Bricker missed his full-court heave off of two misses by Mason Green-Richards at the free-throw line.

Lewis & Clark (8-16, 4-11 NWC) started the game making their first four field goals and shot 9 of 13 through the game's first nine minutes. Things cooled down for the Pioneers, however, as they hit just one of their next five over a three-minute span, while George Fox went 3 of 6 and took a 28-27 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half. Thomas Rico's buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the Bruins a 46-39 lead at halftime.

Zeke Crawford, Kyle Owens and Vickers led a scoring surge for the Pioneers to open the second half, outscoring George Fox by 13 over the half's first four minutes to quickly match their first-half lead of six, 54-48. Led by 15 second-half points from Green-Richards, who finished with a team-best 19 points, and a 31-19 edge in points off turnovers, the Bruins (7-17, 3-12 NWC) were able to recover. Rico finished with 16 points and Ryan Lacey added 15, while Dylan Hamlett had 17 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Mak Hutson was Lewis & Clark's second-leading scorer with 18 on 7 of 9 shooting and paced the Pios with seven of their 18 assists, matching the team's season high. Owens finished 4 of 9 from long range for 14 points and Crawford added 10 points and eight rebounds despite being limited with foul trouble. Daelon Floyd also picked up four fouls relatively early and finished with five points and six rebounds. Nico Bricker had eight points and Andrew Panicacci had six.

The Pioneers used their full roster early in the game, as Gage Bumgardner played five minutes and had a rebound and Sean Yamamoto had two steals in three minutes. Trevor Jeg and Shvetank Prakash played early, too.

Lewis & Clark, which finished 51 percent from the floor, will celebrate Jonathan Smith and Bumgardner before their season finale on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Puget Sound.