Men’s Basketball: The guard tandem of Brandell Evans and Darius Lubom combined for 27 points to lead Western Oregon to a 68-59 win over Westminster College in the opening game of the Dixie State Classic on Friday, Nov. 23.

Leading to a 14-0 advantage in fast-break points, Western Oregon (3-0) ended the night with a 10-0 edge in steals to pull away in the second half against Westminster (1-2).

Evans scored 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half to help the Wolves secure as much as a 14-point gap in the waning minutes of the contest. Evans’ 17 points were the most he has scored since joining Western Oregon for the 2017-18 season.

Lubom added 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting while Dalven Brushier scored 11 points with a boost from a 9-of-12 performance from the free throw line. Lubom has been the only player to score at least 10 points in each of the first three games of the season for the Wolves. 

Westminster’s Jai Jai Ely led all scorers with 18 points after converting 11-of-12 from the stripe. 

The Wolves’ undefeated start through three games is the second straight year they have begun the season 3-0.

On Saturday, allowing a season-high in points, Western Oregon dropped its first game of the season with an 80-70 setback at Dixie State University.

With the win, Dixie State (2-1) claimed the tournament title on their home court inside the Burns Arena and evened the all-time series between the two teams at 3-3.

Western Oregon (2-1) trailed for the bulk of the second half but used dominant work on the boards to eventually work their way back to a 61-59 lead following an Etan Collins’ layup at the 7:27 mark.

Boosted by 36 trips to the free throw line, including 19 in the second half, the home team outscored the Wolves 22-9 the rest of the way to claim the win.

A Brushier 3-pointer with 1:14 to play kept the WOU hopes alive with the score resting at 74-70, but DSU turned around and connected on their last four free throw attempts to clinch the contest.

Overall, Dixie State was 31-of-36 (86.1 percent) from the line compared 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) for WOU.

Hitting 5-of-6 from distance, Brushier led the Wolves with 16 points. Riley Hawken added 11 while Kaleb Warner and Bryan Berg chipped in with 9 points each.

DSU’s Matt Conway led all scorers with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Western Oregon will open GNAC play next week when it hosts Simon Fraser on Thursday and Western Washington on Saturday. Both contests are set for a 7 p.m. start inside the New P.E. Gymnasium.

Women’s Basketball: Besting her career high before the end of the first half, Western Oregon senior Ali Nelke recorded a career-high 15 points while freshman Tresai McCarver scored 19 to help lead the Wolves to a 63-58 win over Colorado Mesa on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Colorado Mesa (1-1) held an early advantage at 6-4 following a pair of Sydni Brandon free throws, but Western Oregon (1-2) uncorked a 20-2 run over the final 6:30 of the opening quarter to stake a 24-8 lead.

“I’m really proud of our resilience,” said Western Oregon head coach Holli Howard-Carpenter. “Bouncing back after yesterday is a testament to who we want to be as a team.”

The Mavericks outscored the Wolves in each of the next three quarters and briefly took a lead in the fourth after a layup and free throw for a 58-57 edge.

Making up for her foul on the defensive end, McCarver connected on a jumper at the 4:32 mark in the fourth to recapture the lead for the Wolves. Moments later, Keyonna Jones put back a layup after a 3-point miss and Natalie DeLonge hit a turnaround jumper to push the WOU lead to 63-58 with 2:57 remaining.

The Mavericks continued to battle down the stretch with a made 3-pointer and sending the Wolves to the line. With 11 seconds remaining, CMU  generated a clean look at a game-tying 3-pointer, but the last effort bounced off the back iron where Jones corralled the board.

Icing the game, Jones converted both her free throw attempts for the final five-point spread.

Hitting 7 of her 10 attempts from the floor, McCarver went on to score 10 of her 19 points after the break while Nelke propelled the Wolves to the early lead with 13 of her 15 points in the first half. Nelke ended the night going 6 of 8 from the floor with one 3-pointer while adding 2 for 2 from the stripe and sharing the team lead with seven rebounds.

“Ali is a rock for our team and tonight she was laser focused,” added Howard-Carptner. “Tresai was tough on both sides of the ball and Nat was solid down the stretch as well. We fought adversity early with foul trouble and our bench stepped up. This was a complete team win. Everyone contributed and that’s how it has to be from here on out.”

Western Oregon will return to action on Nov. 29 when it opens GNAC play at Saint Martin’s University. Opening tip is set for 5:15 p.m. on Lacey, Washington.

Men’s XC: WOU XC Men place sixth overall in DII NCAA West Region Championships

Behind top-10 finishes by Tyler Jones and Dustin Nading, the Western Oregon men’s cross country team placed sixth overall out of 24 teams while competing at the NCAA DII West Region Championships on Saturday morning.

The WOU men scored 182 points with five ranked teams finishing ahead of the Wolves in the final tally. No. 4-ranked Chico State won the men’s title with a meet-low 39 points and was followed by No. 11 Simon Fraser (63 points) and No. 7 Alaska Anchorage (116 points) for the top three places that will earn automatic entry into the NCAA DII National Championships. 

No. 23 Cal Poly Pomona upset No. 15 Western Washington, 146 to 159, for the fourth spot while the Wolves unseated one top-25 team in No. 22-ranked Cal State San Marcos. With 10 at-large berths to be determined, WOU will await NCAA declarations to determine their fate. 

Jones and Nading placed ninth and tenth overall with Jones covering the 10,000-meter course in 31 minutes, 12.85 seconds and Nading in 31:14.94. Missing out on all-region honors by a single place, Parker Marson placed 25th overall with a 31:51.1.

Hunter Mosman (62nd, 32:38.17) and Justin Crosswhite (75th, 32:52.66) provided the final two scoring positions for the Wolves.

Women’s XC: The Western Oregon women’s team placed 18th out of 26 squads with 497 points. GNAC teams snared three of the top four spots in the team standings with No. 7-ranked Alaska Anchorage seizing victory over No. 10-ranked Simon Fraser, 66 to 85.  

Placing 34th overall out of 180 competitors, Grace Knapp led the Wolves. Knapp toured the 6,000-meter course in 22:10.97 and finished 19 seconds shy from the final all-regional position. With a 22:41.4, Kaylin Cantu cracked the 23-minutes barrier for 61st place.

Antoinette Gowen (127th, 23:54.53), Cassie McKinney (137th, 24:24.36) and Rachel Bayly (138th, 24:27.38) rounded out the women’s scoring with all three finishing within 10 places of each other. 

The NCAA DII National Championships will take place Dec. 1 at Cooper’s Lake in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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