MONMOUTH — After taking the lead in the first half, the Western Oregon University Wolves men’s basketball team came out stumbling in the second half to give the 87-82 victory to the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks.
The Wolves opened with explosive start to the game, jumping out to an early lead by forcing 11 turnovers and hitting seven three-pointers; at halftime, the Wolves seemed to have control of things.
Senior Jaylyn Richardson hit 14 of the team’s 45 points heading into the locker room at halftime, nabbing 23 points overall, with sophomore Cameron Cranston putting in 13 in the first half and 20 overall.
Opening the second half similarly to the first, the Wolves maintained their lead by close to 10 points before the Nighthawks went on a 14-14 run, knotting things up with 5:13 left of the contest. A few possessions later, the Nighthawks went on another 9-0 run to grab the lead and leave the Wolves in their dust.
The loss was the first at home for WOU to NNU since 2016.
It was an important game too — sitting in a tie for fifth place in the GNAC conference standings, a win from WOU would have represented a leap into a third-place tie. However, after dropping three of their last four games, the Wolves found themselves unable to rise to the situation.
It was a better ending for the team on Saturday, deterring Central Washington (10-8 overall, 3-7 GNAC) with 18 forced turnovers to eventually nab the 83-66 victory at home against Central Washington (10-8 overall, 3-7 GNAC).
Richardson scored 20 points and grabbed three rebounds and three steals. Senior Dalven Brushier put in 17 points and six assists.
The team traveled to Portland on Tuesday after press time to rally at Concordia University.