Erik Benzel, who went to high school at Ferris in nearby Spokane, scored a career-high 30 points last night to lift Denver to an 80-61 nonconference men's basketball victory over...

Share story


CHENEY — Erik Benzel, who went to high school at Ferris in nearby Spokane, scored a career-high 30 points last night to lift Denver to an 80-61 nonconference men’s basketball victory over Eastern Washington.


Benzel scored 20 during a dominating first half that saw the Pioneers (5-3) open a 42-29 lead over the Eagles (2-7). Benzel was 6 of 9 from three-point range and 5 of 5 on two-pointers for Denver.


“Benzel was on fire,” Eagles coach Mike Burns said. “I told our guys he was coming home to play in front of the home folks. We had to keep track of him, and we did a poor job of that.”


The Pioneers also got 22 points from Yemi Nicholson, and 13 from Brett Seger.


The Eagles were paced by Marc Axton’s 15 points and Paul Butorac’s 12.


Eastern Washington, which lost its fifth game in a row, again played without starting center Matt Nelson, who is out with a broken hand.




Other men’s games




Seattle Pacific 66, Cal St. Bakersfield 62


Jordan Lee scored 28 points as the Falcons, who won their fifth in a row, beat the Roadrunners at the High Desert Classic in Las Vegas.


Jason Chivers had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Falcons (7-2).


Eddie Shelby’s 19 points paced Cal State Bakersfield (2-3), which dropped its third straight.


Lee scored all eight of SPU’s points in the final 10 minutes as Bakersfield rallied. Lee’s three-pointer made it 61-53, but his biggest basket came on a layup with 53 seconds left to put the Falcons in front 63-60. Lee then converted three of four free throws in the last 18 seconds.




Central Arkansas 81, Central Wash. 66


Lamar Grimes had 17 points as the Bears, ranked No. 18 in Division II, beat the Wildcats at the High Desert Classic in Las Vegas.


Central Arkansas (9-0) had two players, DeWayne Hart and Chris Gray, with 16 points.


Chris Bannish scored 19 for Central Washington, which fell to 2-5 this season.




Rocky Mountain 93, St. Martin’s 89 (OT)


Niko Nunogawa scored a game-high 35 points, but his Saints couldn’t overcome the visiting Bears in overtime.


Nunogawa also led St. Martin’s (4-2) with 11 rebounds.


David Ellis scored 23 points for Rocky Mountain (9-4), and Bobby Coleman had 10 rebounds.




Northwest 65, Eastern Oregon 58


A pair of late-game steals by Andrew Gard ignited the Eagles to victory over the visiting Mountaineers. Gard led the Eagles in scoring with 20 points, while Stephen Ishmael added 14 and Aaron Sawyer 12.


The victory gives Northwest a 2-0 mark in the Cascade Conference and a 10-4 record overall.


Mark Carollo paced Eastern Oregon with 16 points.




Albertson 69, Evergreen 62 (OT)


The Geoducks fell to 5-8 overall and 1-1 in Cascade Conference play with the loss to the visiting Coyotes. Albertson, ranked No. 8 in NAIA, improved to 9-3, 1-1 in conference play.




Women’s games




Seattle Pacific 89, Cal State Chico 81


Amy Taylor scored a team-high 18 points to lead six Falcons in double figures in a nonconference road victory over the Wildcats. Taylor was 7 for 16 from the field.


Brittney Kroon had 10 points and 14 rebounds as Seattle Pacific (8-1), ranked No. 4 in Division II, won its sixth in a row.


Amber Simmons led Chico (6-1) with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Haley Ford added 16 points and 12 rebounds.


Chico held the lead throughout most of the first half, including 43-37 at the break. SPU slowly closed the gap and pulled even with 15 minutes left in the game on a three-pointer by Taylor.


Seattle Pacific captured the lead for good on free throws by Michelle Beaumont with 9:20 left to play.




Seattle U. 76, Cal State Stanislaus 72




Freshman Laina Sobczak had 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Redhawks beat the Warriors on the final day of the CCAA-GNAC Challenge in San Bernardino, Calif. Sobczak racked up those statistics in just 22 minutes, and is averaging 13 points and 8.5 boards.


Seattle (4-5) ended a three-game skid, in part by forcing 26 turnovers by Stanislaus (1-6).


Kristen Connolly scored 18 for the Redhawks, who went on a 13-3 run in the final four minutes to pull out the win.


Four players reached double figures for Stanislaus, with Lindsie LeFort scoring 19 and Latricia Nickelberry 18.




Idaho State 73, St. Martin’s 58


Natalie Doma scored 17 points to lead five players in double figures as the Bengals knocked off the Saints at Reed Gym in Pocatello.


Idaho State (4-5) had just six players in its rotation, and dressed its team manager.


Martina Kartikova led St. Martin’s (6-1) with a game-high 19 points.




Eastern Oregon 74, Northwest 52


Jamie Jo Cant’s 16 points led four players in double figures as the visiting Mountaineers beat the Eagles.


Emilee Eisinger led Northwest (6-7 overall, 1-1 in Cascade Conference) with 14 points.


Eastern Oregon is 2-0 in conference play.




Gonzaga 70, Idaho 53


Anne Bailey, an emergency starter, scored 16 points as the Bulldogs beat the visiting Vandals.


Bailey was called upon after Ashley Anderson suffered a freak knee injury during introductions and missed the entire game for Gonzaga (7-2).


Leilani Mitchell scored a team-high 16 points for the Vandals (5-4).




Cal State San Bernardino 57, CWU 49


The Coyotes slowed down the visiting Wildcats in the final game of the Radisson Hotel/GNAC-CCAA Challenge in Coussoulis Arena.


Joyce Proctor led San Bernardino (6-1) with 11 points. Central (8-2), averaging 83 points a game, was led by Laura Wright’s 13 points.




Albertson 60, Evergreen 45


The Geoducks fell to 4-7, 0-2 in Cascade Conference play with a loss to the visiting Coyotes. Albertson is 1-1 in conference play, 7-8 overall.


Compiled from Associated Press reports and college sports-information departments.