By Meg Wochnick
OLYMPIA -- Up until the final minute of Evergreens Cascade Collegiate Conference womens basketball game against visiting Concordia, guard Dela Jones was scoreless on just three shot attempts.
Sitting on the bench after her first missed 3-pointer and her team in a back-and-forth battle all night, she wanted to find a way, whether it came on the offensive or defensive end, to do whatever it took to give her team a chance to win.
In a tightly-contested womens game all night, with no lead larger than four in the second half, Jones first made basket -- a 3-pointer at the top of the key -- broke a 51-all tie with 49.6 seconds left and gave the Geoducks the lead for good in their 58-52 victory over the Cavaliers Friday night.
I knew it was good, because I kept (my arm up there), said Jones, who missed all of the 2011-12 season with a torn ACL and meniscus in her right knee. I knew it was going in.
Teammate Jessica Denmon sank four straight free throws in the final 34.2 seconds to secure Evergreens first win in conference action since Dec. 17, and second straight win overall.
The game was part of a co-ed doubleheader as Concordia topped Evergreen, 84-65.
The Geoducks forced 17 turnovers, including getting nine steals on Concordia (5-10, 0-6), which opened the season with four straight exhibitions games against NCAA Division I opponents -- Washington, Utah, Weber State and Portland. For the third time in five games, the Geoducks held their opponent to fewer than 56 points; the team ranks second in the CCC in scoring defense (57.6 points per game). Jones said the team takes special pride in its defense.
We set the tone for the person who plays defense and coming off the bench, Jones said. They give us that spark.
Junior forward Danielle Swain led Evergreen with a double double -- a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds in 38 minutes. Denmon finished with 11 points, including converting 7 of 8 free throws. Point guard Sammi Clark had eight points and nine rebounds, and her bucket with 3:17 left in the game tied it up at 47-all -- the 10th of 13 ties in the game. D
espite their slow start offensively, shooting 30.6 percent (17 of 56) for the game, the Geoducks outrebounded Concordia, 47-40. Malori Dixon was one of three Cavaliers in double figures with a team-best 12 points.
Concordia 84, Evergreen 65: The visiting Cavaliers connected on 30 of 59 shots and used a 10-0 run in a 3-minutes span early in the second half to earn its first victory in Cascade Collegiate Conference play. The loss drops the Geoducks to 2-11 overall and 1-4 in CCC action.
Evergreen held Adam Herman, the leagues leading scorer (23.6 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (10.1 rpg) to five goals and 21 points and four rebounds. Travis Wagner led the Geoducks (2-11, 1-4) with 16 points, including hitting four straight 3-pointers to start the game before getting his second technical foul with 15:05 left in the second half. He was one of four players in double figures for Evergreen, as Frankie Johnson had 13 points and Mark Taylor and Elzie Dickens had 12 and 10 points, respectively. Concordia held a slim 40-39 advantage at halftime as Johnson hit one of his two 3-pointers in the final seconds of the first half.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473