Honolulu, Hawaii – Day one of the 2012 Surf’s Up Classic belonged to the two Northwest Conference (NWC) teams competing as George Fox defeated host Cal Lutheran 73-59 before Pacific staged an overtime comeback to beat Whittier 74-72.
Game one belonged to the Bruins who erased a nine-point, 22-13, deficit on an 11-0 run in a two and a half minute span and outscored the Kingsmen 21-7 in the final 6:56 of the opening half, taking a 34-29 advantage into the locker rooms.
Though CLU pulled the score even, for the eleventh time of the game, at 48-48 on a Michael Palmer jumper with 12:47 to play in regulation, George Fox took a lead they would not relinquish less than a minute later. The Bruins pushed their lead to double figures on and A.J. Grant layup and opened the gap to as many as 16.
George Fox was tough inside, scoring 24 points in the paint. They also forced 17 CLU turnovers that they converted into 13 points.
Cal Lutheran pulled down 43 rebounds, two more than the Bruins, with 14 offensive boards, but it was the Bruins who converted their 11 second chances to score 12 points while Cal Lutheran came up empty on second chance points.
George Fox placed four players in double figures with Sean Atkins leading all players with 20 points and five steals. Grant finished with 16 and Seth Brent was tough at both ends of the court with 10 points and eight boards, adding three blocks.
Cal Lutheran was paced by freshman Guy Lynott, who made his collegiate debut today, with 18 points and eight rebounds. He also came up with three blocks. Jeremy Sulker-Hall was the only other CLU players in double figures with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Steven Davis handed out a game-high eight assists in the loss. Palmer made the most of being back in his home state, finishing with seven points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
In the second game of the day Whittier opened a 32-24 halftime advantage, but Pacific would battle, chipping away to pull even at 51-51 with 7:02 in the second half, It was the first tie of the game and Dustin Bowers then put up a second chance basket to give the Boxers their first lead of the day at the 5:48 mark.
The score would see-saw for the next five minutes. Phillip Thomas converted a pair of free-throw for Whittier, putting the Poets on top 61-60, but the lead lasted for just seconds. A 4-0 Pacific run left Whittier trailing by three with 25 seconds to go. After a missed three-point attempt by WC and a pair of missed free-throws by Pacific, Thomas stepped up and knocked down a three with four seconds to play, knotting things up at 64-64, sending the squads into overtime.
Pacific was 6-for-9 from the free-throw line in the extra period while Whittier was just 1-for-4 as the Boxers outscored the Poets 10-8 to earn the victory.
Charles Mosely turned in a 15-rebound, 10-point double-double performance, adding three assists for Pacific. Eight of his rebounds were on the offensive end of the court tonight. Dustin Bowser also recorded a double-double with 14 rebounds and 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Colin Wester was a rebound shy of his own double-double, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds and Danny Brakebush led the Boxers with 18 points, all coming via three-pointers.
Whittier was led by Chris Barnes-Williams with a game-high 21 points and a team-leading eight rebounds. Thomas finished with 15 points and handed out a game-high six assists while pulling down seven rebounds. Aaron Fernandez also earned double figure scoring with 11 points.
Box Score: PAC 74, WC 72 - OT
The second and final day of the 2012 Surf’s Up Classic will see Cal Lutheran (1-2) tip-off with Pacific (2-1) at 1:00 p.m. local time before Whittier (1-2) and George Fox (2-2) close out the weekend at 3:00 p.m. Both games will be played at Kalani High School in Honolulu.