Story by Jeremy Harden, Eastern Oregon Sports Information
KIRKLAND, Wash. - In a jam packed gym and a tumultuous crowd, the No.1 ranked Eastern Oregon men's basketball team defeated No.15 Northwest (Wash.) in the NAIA basketball game of the week, 75-71.
The win marks the first time in school history that an EOU team has won in a NAIA game of the week. Before tonight's game EOU athletic teams were 0-4, (Men's basketball 0-2, Football 0-2) in NAIA games of the week.
Craig Tucker led the Mountaineers (23-1, 11-1 CCC) with 12 points and four rebounds. Cody Thurmond added 11 points, three rebound and three assists while Michael Crane and Jason Mumm chipped in with 10 points respectively.
Northwest (19-5, 9-3 CCC) Ryan Mcintosh led all scorers with 26 points and 8 rebounds. Michael Greene contributed with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
In the first half Northwest would take a seven point lead 18-11, their largest lead of the game, with 13:28 left to play in the half. The Mountaineers came back and took the lead by two with 5:54 on the clock. EOU eventually extended their lead to 7 before Northwest went on a 8-0 run and took a one point lead into half time, 37-38.
EOU shot 17-of-37 (45%) from the field and just 2-of-10 (20%) from behind the three-point line in the first half. NU shot 15-of-28 (53%) from the field and 4-of-9 (44%) from behind the arc.
In the second half the teams traded baskets early on, with 6 ties occurring in the first seven minutes of play. Midway through the half the Mountaineers would take a seven point lead, 65-58, after a three pointer by Tucker. With five minutes left, EOU led by 8 and seemed to be in control but NU wouldn't go away and used their pressuring defense to cause several turnovers and cut EOUs' lead to just two, 73-71, with 2:11 to play. Mumm answered with the last basket of the game with 18 seconds on the clock to seal the deal for the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers would finish shooting 33-of-71 (46%) from the field and 5-of-22 (22%) from behind the three-point line. The Eagles finished shooting 26-of-59 (44%) from the field and 6-of-13 (46%) from behind the arc.
Eastern will play tomorrow night at Evergreen, game time is setfor 5:30 pm. Live video and stats will be available at EOUsports.com