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Cool's second 30-point game leads no. 3 Titans to win

Tarik Cool, men's basketball
Tarik Cool, men's basketball

The Titans led by as many as 18 in the 2nd half and battled their way to 106-101 victory over Everett.

How it happened: The Titans raced out to an 11-point lead in the first five minutes of the game. The Trojans responded immediately with a 12-0 run to take the lead with 13:45 remaining.

Both teams would trade baskets for a few minutes until a 12-2 Trojan run made it 42-33 with 7:27 to go; this was the largest lead Everett would have.

The Titans would not quite as their shooting continued to stay hot and some strong defense helped to lead a 14-2 run and a 47-44 lead with 4:21 remaining.

A late Tarik Cool layup made it a three-possession game as they 1st half ended; Titans led 61-54.

The Titans shot a season-high 75.8 percent from the floor but got six fewer shots despite only committing two more turnovers than Everett and shooting eight fewer free throws.

Lucas Wilson got into early foul trouble again, picking up three in the 1st half; Tarik Cool and Gabe Sorber had two each.

Tarik Cool and Lezjon Bonds had 14 and 13 points respectively and Cody Mathis avoided foul trouble to produce six points and nine rebounds in 12 minutes.

The Titans opened the 2nd half on an 11-4 run and led 72-58 with less than three minutes gone.

A Lezjon Bonds three with 11:27 remaining gave the Titans their largest lead of the game at 18.

The Trojans battled and finally cut their deficit to single-digits after a three, 90-81, with 7:19 remaining.

Three Titan fouls in the last 19 second gave the Trojans seven free throws, they made six of them, and cut the lead to four points with 11 seconds remaining. Tarik Cool stepped to the line with nine seconds remaining and missed the first, with a chance to ice the game, but made the second and the Titans prevailed.

The Titans defense in the 2nd half was much better; holding the Trojans to 41.9 percent shooting and 2-10 from three. The problem was 18 fouls that led to 21 free throw attempts for Everett.

The Titans got double-digit points from three players and worked through a 45.5 percent shooting half with only two threes and two assists on six turnovers.

What/who stood out: After having 20 plus assists in five of six games to start the season, the Titans have not had one in the last four and have failed to reach the 10-assist mark in the last two games. Despite the low assist totals, the Titans have shot no lower than 47.6 and shot above 50 percent twice in the four games.

The 28 fouls committed was the highest total since the season opener against Pacific J.V.

The Titans went 8-20 from three and are 3-0 when not making 10 or more.

With other players displaying their offensive brilliance, Tarik Cool has been a little forgotten, but tonight he recorded his second 30-point game and added five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Cody Mathis had his best collegiate game with 16 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks in only 25 minutes due to four fouls. Lezjon Bonds followed up his career-high 24 last night with 23 points.

What it means: The third ranked Titans are 2-0 when ranked and are one win away from taking the WWCC crossover title. They are now 9-1 and are one of four teams with one or fewer losses in the NWAC.

What's next: The Titans battle the Tacoma Titans for the second time this season on Sunday at noon. Lane beat Tacoma 118-76 at the Dale Bates Classic. Tacoma is 3-1 since that loss; their lone loss was to Everett yesterday. For more info on Tacoma, read the preview attached to the Walla Walla game.