Down by seven points with about five minutes left in the game, Arvin Mosley took a gamble.
The Evergreen State College men’s basketball coach inserted his defensive specialists. Evergreen responded with an 11-0 run, sparking an intense, 74-70 comeback win against Corban University on Friday.
“We went with our goon squad, our defensive squad,” Mosley said. “They take pride in their defense.”
Trailing 65-58 with 5:28 left, Evergreen ripped off 11 consecutive points to take a 69-65 lead on Josh Troyer’s driving layup with 1:56 left. Evergreen (3-8 overall, 1-2 Cascade Conference) never trailed again.
“We knew we needed to win,” Troyer said. “There was a sense of urgency.”
Corban closed to 69-68 when Jonathan Ramirez inbounded the ball under the basket off the back of a Geoducks player for a lay-in with 54 seconds left.
But Evergreen guard Mikey Hope sank two of three free throws in the closing 41 seconds to secure the win – Evergreen’s second straight after losing eight in a row.
“We have a lot of new faces, a new coach. We’re still jelling as a team,” said Troyer, who led Evergreen with 21 points. He was 8-for-10 from the field, including 5-of-7 accuracy from 3-point territory.
“Josh is a scorer, but he’s also a playmaker,” Mosley said. “He’s finding his rhythm with this team. This whole team is finding their rhythm. We’re starting a freshman (Hope) at point.”
Hope, a freshman from Tacoma’s Wilson High School, got his third start of the season and responded with a season-high 18 points, six above his season average. He also had four assists and just two turnovers.
Evergreen shot 56 percent (13-for-23) from the field in the second half, and held Corban to just 41 percent (13-for-31) after the break.
Corban, which lost for the third time in four games, was led by Ian Logan and Nash Keene with 16 points each.
Evergreen led 34-31 at halftime and was up by as many as eight before Corban rallied.
In the women’s game, Corban led 42-25 at halftime and beat Evergreen, 75-60.
Latrina Woods led Evergreen with 13 points, and Cambria Smith added 11.
Gail Wood: 360-754-5443 firstname.lastname@example.org