yote notes - edition 16
COMING UP: vs. Eastern Oregon, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
LAST WEEK: at Northwest Christian (W 60-56), at Corban (L 47-42)
LIVE STATS/LIVE VIDEO: Friday’s game with Eastern Oregon will have both Live Stats and Live Video available for fans unable to make it to the Activities Center. The Live Video can be accessed online at http://www.uppersports.com/broadcast_iframe/4415 with EOU sports information director, Barrett Henderson calling the play-by-play. Live Stats, sponsored by the Sprint Store in Meridian (2100 E. Fairview Ave, 855-9910), are available online at http://zeus.collegeofidaho.edu/athlete/livestats/xlive.htm.
ANOTHER SPLIT: For the third-straight weekend, the Coyotes picked up a victory on Friday night, followed by a loss on Saturday. The C of I jumped into eighth-place in the league standings with their 60-56 win at Northwest Christian, keeping alive their 14-year streak of playoff appearances.
PLAYOFF PICTURE WITH TWO WEEKS LEFT: With two weekends remaining in the schedule, the Coyotes are clinging to the eighth and final berth in the Cascade Conference postseason tournament – a half-game ahead of Northwest Christian. If the Yotes and Beacons finished tied – a complicated tiebreak scenario would play out, as the two teams split the regular-season series (which is the first tiebreaker). Tiebreak No. 2 is record vs. teams in CCC with a .500 or better mark (C of I currently wins that tiebreak with a win over Southern Oregon, while NCU does not have a win vs. a .500 or better team). If it moved on to Tiebreak No. 3, the CCC would look at the two records against teams in ascending order – starting with the worst club and moving up (which right now, the Yotes would win with their victory over SOU). The final two tiebreakers are the Sempert Scale (wins on the road weighted more than at home) and a coin flip.
LOWEST SCORING GAMES: Saturday’s tough 47-42 loss at Corban was a defensive struggle at best – as the Yotes were held to their lowest scoring output in 44 years, dating back to a 50-40 loss to Whitman during the 1967-68 season. The combined score of 89 points equaled the fewest combined points in a CCC game involving the Yotes (C of I defeated Western Oregon, 45-44, in 1996-97), while it was the lowest scoring game between the two schools since the Coyotes defeated the Warriors, 43-36 in 1983.
DEFENSE COMING TOGETHER: Over the past six games, the Coyotes have held their opponents’ to an average of just 54.3 points per game, going 3-3 over that stretch. Only one Coyote opponent (Oregon Tech) has made over 43-percent of their field goals, as the club ranks No. 6 in the NAIA Division II in opponents’ field goal percentage and No. 7 in scoring defense.
DONALDSON/BANKS STEPPING UP: Leading the way for the Yotes last weekend was the play of freshman guard Sydney Donaldson (Coventry, England / Charis Prep) and post Krispin Banks (Dallas, Texas/ Salt Lake CC) – as both players scored in double-figures against both NCU and Corban. Donaldson, who has three-straight double-figure scoring nights in a row, had 17 points in Friday’s win, followed by 10 points in the loss to Corban. Banks made 12-of-17 shots on the weekend, averaging 12 points and six rebounds.
INJURY UPDATE: Heading into last weekend, the Coyotes were short-handed, looking at the possibility of playing with just eight men in uniform. Luckily, Ben Van Lith (Eagle, Idaho / Coll. of Southern Idaho) was able to play – averaging eight points and eight rebounds in the two games. Both Matt Ballenger (Nampa, Idaho / U. of Colorado) and Devan Telken (Caldwell, Idaho / Vallivue HS) missed the two games due to injury – Ballenger with a turf toe problem that has cost him the last six games, and Telken with a knee issue from the Jan. 28 game vs. Northwest. Both Ballenger and Telken will be game-time decisions on Friday vs. Eastern Oregon.
ABOUT EASTERN: The Yotes return home to play their final three games of the regular-season, beginning Friday night against Eastern Oregon. The Mountaineers (15-9, 8-7 CCC) have not been playing particularly well, losing four of their last six games, including 4-of-5 on the road. EOU, a Top-10 team in the NAIA preseason poll, is a very physical squad, averaging nearly 10 rebounds more per game than their opponents’, while averaging 83 points a game. A trio of players average in double-figures for the Mounties – Jamar Johnson (13.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Travares Peterson (12.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg), and Trent Roos (12.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg). EOU defeated the Yotes, 80-62 on Jan. 13, but C of I leads the all-time series, 103-64.
I-84 CUP ON THE LINE: The teams will have a trophy on the line as well Friday, as the two rivals will be playing for the I-84 Cup. The I-84 Cup was established during the 2004-05 season as a men’s basketball traveling trophy for the winner of the Coyote-Mountaineer game, but beginning in the second meeting of the 2009-10 season, encompassed the women’s game as well. If either C of I or EOU sweeps the doubleheader, the trophy will go to the winning institution. EOU claimed the trophy earlier this season after sweeping both the men’ and women’s games on Jan. 13.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: As a team, the Yotes lead the CCC in scoring defense (63.6), ranking No. 2 in defensive field goal percentage (.404), and No. 3 in blocked shots per game (3.2). The C of I is No. 5 in turnover margin (+1.0), No. 7 in steals per game (8.0), No. 8 in scoring margin (+0.2), free throw percentage (.657), field goal percentage (.443), rebound margin (-0.2), assists per game (12.6), and three-pointers made per game (5.3), and No. 10 in scoring average (63.8), three-point percentage (.289), and rebounds per game (33.3). Individually, three Coyotes are in the Top-10 in the CCC stats, as Matt Ballenger ranks No. 3 in steals per game (2.4), No. 5 in scoring average (17.0), and No. 6 in three-pointers made per game (2.3). Krispin Banks is No. 3 in field goal percentage (.607) and Sydney Donaldson No. 8 in steals per game (1.8).
CCC LEADERS: Scoring Average – Eric Thompson (SOU) 19.7, Bobby Hunter (OIT) 19.7, Adam Herman (CU) 19.6, Marice Tolliver (ESC) 18.6, Matt Ballenger (C of I ) 17.0; Rebound Average – Stephen Harris (WP) 8.2, Herman 7.7, Patrick Lewis (ESC) 7.6, Thompson 7.6, Michael Greene (NU) 7.4; Assists Average – Dane Johnson (WP) 6.0, William Sharp (WP) 4.8, Tolliver 4.6, David Clarke (OIT) 4.4, Rich Skillman (NU) 4.2.
RECORD BOOK: Matt Ballenger ranks among the career Top-10 in four different categories – No. 3 in three-point attempts (562), No. 4 in three-pointers made (183) and field goal attempts (1,038), and No. 7 in steals (157). He is also No. 12 in points scored (1,134) – needing 60 points to crack the all-time Top-10, and No. 13 in field goals made (407).
CONFERENCE/NATIONAL POLLS: In the latest CCC weekly poll, Oregon Tech continued to lead the 10-team conference, followed by Northwest, Warner Pacific, Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Concordia. OIT remained in the No. 2 spot in the NAIA Top-25 poll, with Northwest up to No. 8 and Warner Pacific at No. 12, with Southern Oregon receiving votes. The CCC and NAIA polls will be released each Monday for the remainder of the regular-season.
GAME RECAP – C OF I 60, NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN 56: The C of I hit 82-percent of their second half field goals as the Coyotes moved into sole possession of eighth-place in the CCC with a 60-56 road victory over Northwest Christian, inside the Morse Events Center. The C of I used a slow-down pace to hold NCU to their lowest scoring half in program history, as a Tyler Young three-pointer and lay-in capped a 9-0 run to end the period, taking a 23-13 lead to the half. A quick second half surge got the Beacons within 24-23 in the first four minutes of the second half, but the Coyotes executed their offense to perfection - making their final 14 shot attempts on the night. Krispin Banks had eight points in an 11-3 run to extend the lead to 35-26, extending the margin to 50-38 on a Duncan Koga(Caldwell, Idaho / Caldwell HS) trey with 5:22 to play. NCU would not go away, as The C of I missed two front-ends of 1-and-1's, making just 3-of-8 free throws in the final minute. A Greg Shepard three got the Beacons within 59-56, but Zach Peterson (Boise, Idaho / North Idaho CC) hit a free throw with three seconds left to secure the win. Sydney Donaldson led the way with 17 points and three blocked shots, with Banks scoring 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting. The C of I hit 25-of-38 shots from the field, a season-high 66-percent. Mitchell Wilson led a trio of NCU players in double-figures with 11 points, with Trevor Parker and Brian Hampton each scoring 10.
GAME RECAP – CORBAN 47, C OF I 42: Jordan Carter scored a game-high 26 points, as Corban University outlasted The C of I, 47-42, inside the C.E. Jeffers Center in Salem, Ore. Playing at the slowdown pace of the Coyotes, the Warriors held The C of I to their lowest scoring output in the 20-year history of the CCC. It marked the second-straight season that Corban swept the season series from the Yotes. After jumping to a 6-0 lead early on, the Yotes went 10 minutes without a made field goal, as Carter scored nine points in an 18-1 run, as the Warrors built their largest lead of the night at 18-7. The C of I would chip away at the margin, closing within 21-18 at the break. The Coyotes got a three-point Ben Van Lith play early in the second half, starting a 7-0 run that tied the game at 33-33 - but would never take the lead. Corban extended the margin to 39-33, but a Krispin Banks lay-up inside the final 20 seconds cut the lead to 43-42. After a pair of Carter free throws with seven seconds left, the Yotes would turn the ball over - sealing the Corban win. Carter was 8-of-16 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, in the win. Corban won despite getting no production from their bench. Banks led the Yotes with 11 points and five rebounds, with Sydney Donaldson adding 10 - but The C of I made just 2-of-10 shots from outside the arc.
ABOUT THE COACH: Rod Jensen is in his second season as head men's basketball coach at The C of I, recording a record of 22-34 as Coyote head coach. A year ago, his first Coyote team, which had just two returning starters, rallied from a tough start to win 9-of-12 games midway through the season and finish in a tie for fourth in the CCC standings. Jensen came to The C of I after five seasons at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he served as associate head coach for the last four years. Jensen has earned notoriety as a defensive coach, especially during his 19 years as a coach at Boise State University. From 1983-95, he was the top assistant to head coach, Bobby Dye, helping the Broncos rank among the Top-15 in the NCAA Division I in scoring defense for four-straight seasons, winning Big Sky regular-season championships in 1988 and 1989, along with Big Sky Tournament titles in 1988, 1993, and 1994. BSU teams advanced to the National Invitational Tournament in 1987 and 1991, and the NCAA National Tournament in 1988, 1993, and 1994. In 1995, Jensen became the head coach at Boise State - compiling a 109-93 overall record in seven seasons at the helm - recording the fourth-most wins in BSU history. During his tenure, the Broncos ranked among the NCAA Top-25 in scoring defense in 1998 and 1999, while winning the 1999 Big West East Division Championship. Jensen headed east in 2002, becoming an assistant coach for Pete Gillen at the University of Virginia, where he helped the Cavaliers to NIT appearances in 2003 and 2004 - leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in defensive field goal percentage. In 2005, he headed south to UNC-Greensboro, working for Mike Dement, where during his tenure, every player who exhausted their eligibility, graduated. A graduate of the University of Redlands in California, Jensen began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1980, serving as an assistant for two years, before spending one season at Penn State.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information on The C of I men’s basketball program, head to the official homepage of the Coyotes, http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/mensbasketball.