OLYMPIA - In his final regular-season home game, Nate Menefee put on a memorable show.
The two-time All-American and league MVP scored 31 points, leading Evergreen State to a 94-75 victory Saturday against Concordia on Saturday night, giving the Geoducks a season sweep.
“We played well,” said Menefee, who was 10-for-15 from the field. “We responded well to last night’s loss. That was our concern.”
Evergreen lost Friday at home to Warner Pacific, 85-76.
“We had something to prove,” Menefee said.
With the score tied at 66, Evergreen went on a 13-0 run, holding Concordia scoreless for nearly five minutes to take a 79-66 lead.
Josh Troyer, a junior guard averaging 9.8 points, scored 10 points in that stretch, hitting a pair of 3-pointers. Troyer scored 16 points off the bench.
“Josh has been in a funk,” said Menefee, Evergreen’s all-time leading scorer. “We told him he needs to step it up tonight. He did.”
In the first half, Evergreen shot 55 percent (15-for-27) and still trailed 45-43 after trailing by as many as 10 points.
With his team trailing 33-23, Menefee went to work, scoring 10 of Evergreen’s next 13 points, cutting the gap to 38-36.
Evergreen, which defeated Concordia earlier, 107-97, improved to 18-8 overall and 7-4 in the Cascade Conference with two games remaining. Concordia dropped to 15-12 and 8-6.
It was the final regular-season home game for five Evergreen seniors – Julio Feliciano, Anthony Gallagher, Amos Saffold, Scott Halaz and Menefee.
Concordia 71, Evergreen 59: Missed chances.
That’s what Evergreen coach Monica Heuer was frustrated about after her team’s playoff chances were nearly eliminated.
“The missed chances and the turnovers,” Heuer said. “We needed to take care of the ball at key times.”
Early in second half, Evergreen trailed 48-36, but an 8-0 run cut the gap to 48-44 on Shekia Hill’s layin. The Geoducks never got any closer.
With 4:41 left in the game, Concordia stretched its lead to 63-53.
Evergreen rallied again, closing to 65-59 on Chelsey Nill’s free throw. But in that stretch the Geoducks went 3-for-8 from the free throw line.
“We’ve got to make our free throws,” Heuer said.
Evergreen went scoreless for the final 1:50 of the game and Concordia finished with a 6-0 run.
Alex Saab led Evergreen with 15 points and was the only Geoduck to finish in double figures.
Evergreen shot a cool 29 percent in the second half, going 9-for-31 from the field.
With two games remaining, Evergreen, which dropped to 9-18 overall and 5-11 in conference, has to win at College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon this week to keeps its playoff hopes alive.
Gail Wood: 360-754-5443