Saints roar back to upend Geoducks

College Basketball: Saint Martin's men erase an 18-point deficit in the second half and defeat Evergreen, 71-63

November 10, 2010 

An unexpected thing happened to Saint Martin's on the way to a blowout loss.

The Saints won, beating The Evergreen State College, 71-63, on Tuesday after trailing by 18 points with 13 minutes remaining in the game.

“We just kept playing hard,” Saints coach Keith Cooper said. “I thought our bench came up big. Our defense got us back in it.”

Trailing 61-60, Saint Martin’s Galen Squiers buried back-to-back 3-pointers as the shot clock was about to expire, giving the Saints a 66-61 lead with 1:54 to play. His first, a jumper from the top of the key, gave the Saints their first lead of the game at 63-61.

“He’s a good shooter,” Cooper said. “He’s hit some big shots for us.”

With 13 minutes to go, Evergreen pushed its lead to 18 on Marice Tolliver’s two free throws.

But rather than quit, Saint Martin’s, sparked by Blake Poole, rallied, going on an 19-2 run to pull close on Brok Pendelton’s free throw. He missed his second attempt that would have tied the score.

Poole, despite playing with the flu and vomiting at halftime, led the Saints with 20 points on 7-of-19 shooting.

“He’s a tough kid,” Cooper said. “He threw up at halftime. That might have something (to do) with him not shooting well.”

Evergreen missed its final 11 shots and was held to one basket in the final 4:40.

“At the start, I think we rushing it, and they were making their shots,” Poole said. “We put things together in the end.”

Tyrell Dixon and Tolliver led Evergreen with 15 points each.

Josh Troyer, a senior guard and returning starter, sank three of his first four 3-pointers to help Evergreen open a 37-23 lead in the first half.

Leading 11-10, Evergreen went on a 16-4 run, taking a 27-14 lead on Tolliver’s basket. Johnny Sarysz and Troyer combined for four 3-pointers in that stretch, with Sarysz sinking three.

Evergreen shot 51 percent (16-for-31) in the first half and led 39-27 at the half. Saint Martin’s shot only 32 percent in the first half, going 10-for-31 from the field.

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