NWAC MEN'S BASKETBALL
|Mt. Hood CC|
EVERETT – The Mt. Hood Saints finally ran out of runs.
Keun Palu-Thompson scored 23 points and Brandon Cotton added 17 as Lower Columbia kept the Saints at bay down the stretch for an 85-78 victory in the Elite 8 of the Northwest Junior Colleges championship tournament Friday night.
The Red Devils broke open a tight game with a 10-3 run to open a 73-63 lead with 4:09 remaining, as the Saints managed just a Cody Thompson 3-pointer over a span of more than four minutes.
The Saints (16-12), who had battled from behind on several occasions in their 74-71 opening win over Shoreline, got no closer than seven points until the final 19 seconds
"At five minutes, I felt like we made some real poor decisions offensively," said Mt. Hood coach John Hawley. "We were acting like it was a minute to go in the game. We had plenty of clock at that time and we came down really forced some stuff, and got no second opportunities because we weren't getting touches on the ball."
Lower Columbia (23-8), the No. 3 seed in the West Region, advances to the semifinals on Saturday, March 18 at 8 p.m. against Walla Walla (22-8), which defeated Whatcom 100-80.
Look for expanded coverage in our Tuesday, March 14, print edition.