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Steady Warriors Rally Past Erratic Bruins in GFU OpenerSalem-News.com Sports
Corban 95, George Fox 90
(Newberg, Oregon) - Consistency paid for visiting Corban University as the Warriors, shooting equally well in each half, rallied past the George Fox University Bruins, who sizzled in the first half but fizzled in the second, 95-90 in the Bruins’ season-opening men’s basketball game Friday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
Corban shot .560 (14-25) in the first stanza and .545 (18-33) in the second, while the Jekyll-and-Hyde Bruins burned the nets at a .623 pace (24-38) in the opening half but slumped to .345 (10-29) in the final 20 minutes, enabling the Warriors to come back. Corban’s final mark was .552 (32-58); George Fox was at .507 (34-67).
Both teams came out on fire to start the game as the Bruins hit seven of their first 10 shots but the Warriors were even hotter, sinking eight of nine. There were 10 lead changes (but no ties) in the first eight minutes. The game was tied 40-40 with 3:49 left in the half after two Erik Cronrath free throws for Corban, but the Bruins exploded for a 16-5 run to close the period and took a 56-45 advantage into the locker room.
George Fox transfer Mike Taylor, who played two seasons at NCAA Division I Marist, scorched the nets for 22 first-half points, hitting 9-15 from the field with four three-pointers, and Cole Whitehurst added 14 points on 6-7 shooting. Ian Logan paced Corban with 11. Only a 13-2 advantage in made free throws in the first half kept Corban in the game.
The Warriors fought back quickly by scoring the first nine points of the second half while the Bruins were missing their first six shots, trimming the deficit to 56-54 two-and-a-half-minutes in. Two layups by Whitehurst and one by Rich Smith boosted the Bruin lead back to eight at 62-54, but a three-point play by Cronrath with 13:32 left capped a 10-1 run as the Warriors took their first lead of the second half 64-63.
The lead changed hands seven times over the next three minutes before the Bruins built a lead of 78-74 on a three-point play by Whitehurst with 9:25 remaining. The home team then went ice-cold, going scoreless for over five minutes while missing five shots and committing five turnovers. The Warriors took advantage of the George Fox drought to score nine unanswered points, capped by a Jordan Carter layup, and take an 83-78 lead with 4:21 to go.
The Bruins had a chance to tie in the final minute when Whitehurst drew an intentional foul under the basket and hit both free throws to make it 92-90 Corban with 53 seconds left. The Bruins got the ball back after the freebies but Taylor slipped driving the lane, resulting in a turnover, and the Warriors iced the game with two free throws by Jonathan Ramirez and one by Carter.
Taylor finished with a career-high 30 points, including his Marist days, for George Fox, and Whitehurst also achieved a new personal mark with 25 points. Stephen Wiseley added 18 points and eight assists, and Smith scored 14. The rebounds were even at 32 each, with Taylor grabbing seven to lead the Bruins.
Cronrath led a quartet of Warriors with 25 points, followed by Carter with 19, Logan with 17, and Ramirez with 10. Carter and Logan had nine boards and three assists each, and Nash Keene also had three assists.
NEXT: George Fox (0-1) hosts Northwest University (Wash.) Saturday at 7:30 p.m., completing a two-game home stand ... Corban (4-0) visits Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., at 7:00 p.m.
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