All season long, Blake Poole and Jeremy Green have been the focus of opposing defenses, frequently drawing double teams.
On Thursday, the Saint Martin’s seniors got the one-on-one coverage they wanted against Western Washington.
But they didn’t get the win.
Even with Poole and Green combining for 58 points, Saint Martin’s lost, 80-74, at the Pavilion, handing the Saints their second straight defeat.
“I’d trade the points for a win,” Poole said. “Defenses have focused on me and Jeremy all season. Everyone has been contributing.”
But the Saints didn’t get the team effort they were looking for Thursday. Aside from Poole and Green, the Saints went 7-for-29 from the field and scored 16 points.
Poole scored 10 of Saint Martin’s final 14 points and finished with a season-high 32, 17 above his season average. Green added 26 points on 12-for-18 shooting.
“We didn’t play with the energy we needed to win,” Saints coach Keith Cooper said. “We got outworked and outplayed.”
With 11:45 remaining in the game, Poole’s driving lay-in gave the Saints a 52-49 lead. But Western answered with a 10-0 run in the next 80 seconds, taking a 59-52 lead on Dan Young’s tip.
Saint Martin’s (9-6 overall, 2-3 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) cut its deficit to 69-68 on Poole’s jump hook with 3:50 to play. But the Saints never again took the lead.
John Allen, coming off a 43-point game in a win against Simon Fraser, led the Vikings (8-3, 3-0) with 24 points. Forward Rory Blanche added 18 points and five Vikings finished in double figures.
“We’ll bounce back,” Green said. “We can fix this.”
Saint Martin’s plays host to Simon Fraser on Saturday.
With Saint Martin’s trailing 16-13 five minutes into the game, the Saints went on a 7-0 run, taking a 20-16 lead on Poole’s three-point play.
In the first half, there were nine lead changes and seven ties. The Saints led by as many as seven points, taking a 32-25 lead on Roger O’Neill’s 3-pointer from the corner.
Both teams came out with a hot shooting. The Saints started the game 6-for-8 and Western went 7-for-10.
But Saint Martin’s went 2-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half and 3-for-18 for the game.
When Green swished a running jumper with 32 seconds to go in the half, Saint Martin’s took a 40-38 halftime lead.
Green and Poole combined for 31 of their team’s 40 points in the first half. They shot a combined 12-for-21 from the field, making all but four of the Saints’ 16 baskets in the first half.