Boxers grind out the overtime win;  Win the first conference

Boxers grind out the overtime win; Win the first conference

FOREST GROVE, Ore.- For the second time in as many games, the Pacific University men’s basketball team saw their game go to overtime. This time, the Boxers won with an 83-75 win over Lewis & Clark to take their first Northwest Conference win of their season.

The Boxers (5-8, 1-3 NWC) moved the ball really well, posting a 47.4% field goal percentage (22-57) with 42 points under their belt. Pacific used their defensive pressure to force 24 turnovers and keep their opponents at just 25% of the three-point range.

Lewis & Clark (6-7, 0-5 NWC) won the rebounding battle 44-33 but were held down by the Boxer defence. The Pioneers were led by Jayden Simpson who scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Ethan Chung (Junior/San Ramon, CA) scored a season-high 21 points to lead all scorers in the game. The junior was 7-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Lucas Winkler (Freshman/Portland, OR) enjoyed his best night in a Pacific uniform with a career-high 19 points. With nine free throws and two three-pointers, the point guard was a focal point for the Boxer offense.

Isaiah Africano (Junior/Pearl City, HI) reached double digits with 14 points while Jacob Bolger (Junior/Portland, OR) added 12 runs and three blocks in defense.

How it happened

Pacific opened the game with a 7-0 run fueled by a Mario Mora (Senior/Bend, OR) three-pointer. Bolger would shoot one before Winkler took a shot from outside the arc to extend the lead after 12 minutes. Africano scored back-to-back layups to turn it into a double-digit lead, but the Pioneers would rally to narrow the lead to just four points with three minutes left in the half.

Winkler tripled and rattled five straight runs, but Lewis & Clark tied the score at 31 just before half time.

The Pioneers rushed out the gate in the second half and took a 12-point lead after 13 minutes. The visitors had all the momentum until Chung scored seven straight runs to narrow the lead to just five points. The teams would switch baskets over the next few minutes until Mora scored a layup and Chung nailed a three-ball clutch to make it 68. Both teams were unable to score on their last regulatory possession and the game would go to overtime.

Lewis & Clark scored on their first run of overtime but would go scoreless for nearly four minutes. The Boxers took advantage of this scoring drought to take a three-point lead with 1:36 to go. A wild run would provide the game-changing moment when Winkler raced hard toward the basket and saw his layup fall just off the rim. Trevon Ridley (Freshman/Murrieta, CA) pulled down the offensive rebound and shoved it to Bolger who went to the basket. Despite some contact, Bolger delivered a thunderous dunk and hit a free throw to seal Pacific’s first conference win.

By the numbers

  • This was Pacific’s first win since November 8, 2019 at UC Santa Cruz.

Next one

The Pacific looks set to take it consecutive wins as they head to Walla Walla, Washington on Jan. 18 at 8pm to face Whitman.

For the latest information on Pacific Athletics, visit GoBoxers.com. You can also find the Boxers on social media at @GoBoxers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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