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Dec-21-2009 03:23

Men's Basketball: Wolves Survive Second Half Scare to Defeat Orediggers 71-66‏

The Western Oregon men's basketball team will now enjoy the holiday break before returning to competition, Dec. 29th, against Utah State.

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Salem-News.com Sports

MONMOUTH, Ore. - The Wolves' starting backcourt combined for 48 points as Western Oregon held on for a 71-66 win over Colorado School of Mines, 71-66, Saturday, Dec. 19.

The win moved WOU's record to 6-2 as CSM fell to 4-5.

The game was a story of two halves. Western Oregon pushed a 19-point halftime lead to 24 points early in the second period, only to see its lead cut to two points on a 25-3 run by the Orediggers. The Wolves then responded with a 7-0 run, to extend their lead back to nine.

However, CSM would have one more burst left in it, slicing the lead to 69-66 with a 7-0 run of its own with just a minute remaining. WOU then got a free throw apiece from Blair Wheadon and Rico Myles in the final seven seconds to seal the game.

"Good teams find ways to win," said WOU head coach Craig Stanger. "With the game on the line the good teams get it done. We managed to win this one, and we will build on it."

Wheadon led the Wolves with 21 points, as he went 7-of-14 from the field and 4-of-9 from behind the arc. His backcourt mates, Matt Schmidt and Kyle Long, also chipped in with 15 and 12, respectively. Myles' 12 rebounds, including eight offensive, helped WOU control the boards, as it outrebounded CSM 38-29.

"We were the more athletic team, and attacking the glass was a key for us," Stanger said.

The Wolves came out strong in the opening period, putting two double-digit-to-zero runs on the board to take a 42-23 lead into the half. They held the Orediggers to 28-percent shooting in the opening stanza and committed just three turnovers, en route to the 19-point first half advantage.

After the opening the first three minutes of the second half on a 7-2 run, everything changed for the Wolves. They converted 7-of-21 second half shots as the Orediggers went 17-of-29 from the floor allowing them to get back in the game. WOU also committed nine of its 12 turnovers in the second half.

"We got timid against their press in the second half," noted Stanger. "We also didn't execute against their 2-3 zone."

Sean Armstrong was Colorado School of Mines' leading scorer with 24 points. He went 10-of-16 from the field and 4-of-6 from three-point range. Dale Minschwaner, who came into the contest averaging over 20 points and eight rebounds for the Orediggers, was held without a point and only five rebounds, while playing limited minutes because of foul trouble.

"I never would have guessed we would be able to hold (Minschwaner) scoreless," noted Stanger.

The Western Oregon men's basketball team will now enjoy the holiday break before returning to competition, Dec. 29th, against Utah State.


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