Men: Peninsula rallies to claim third over Green RiverNWAC Championship Updates
Toyota Center, Kennewick, Wash.
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3rd Place Final
|Peninsula placed third at the 2015 NWAC championships.|
2 p.m. Men -- Peninsula 53, Green River 51 [stats]
A wild and wacky first round did more than knock two of the top seeds from the running for the title, it also set up a pair of No. 4 seeds -- Peninsula and Green River -- in a battle for third place on Tuesday afternoon.
Both teams had their chances, but Peninsula got a pair of free throws just before the buzzer to win it 53-51 and claim third place at the NWAC championships on March 10.
After a tight start to the game, Peninsula finally managed to find a little wiggle room on a bucket from Jeremiah Hobbs with 8:51 left in the first half, putting the Pirates on top 19-12. Green River finished the half on a 14-2 run and a dominant stretch on the boards -- back to back offensive rebounds -- eventually broke a tie with a three-pointer from Glenn Brooks as part of five straight points to give Green River a 26-21 halftime lead.
The Gators led by as many as six points early in the second half before Peninsula rallied to tie the score at 30, but the Pirates once again trailed by five with 12:56 to play in the second half. Five straight points tied the game at 37, and though Peninsula led by three points shortly thereafter few minutes, Green River's Damon Cikanek managed to tie the game at 51 with three minutes to go.
Now it was all down to who could stall for the last shot.
The Gators had two good looks from distance, but couldn't get anything to fall. A foul with seven seconds to go forced Peninsula to inbound the ball directly across the court from their own bench, and the Pirates went to the obvious choice for their game-winner.
Jal Deng finished with a game-high 21 points, but it was his last two which made the difference.
Deng caught the ball near the three point line and drove to the hoop, losing the ball on the way up buy drawing the foul. Both free throws were good and the Gators never got a shot away before the horn sounded.
|2015 4th Place Green River Gators|