Saturday, February 9, 2019
Zach Richardson's 42 Points Keep Multnomah In Playoff Hunt
by Harry Cummins
Freshman guard Zach Richardson, thrust into a position of offensive leadership due to an injury to the nation's leading scorer, Justin Martin, responded with a composed 42 point performance from the backcourt in leading the Multnomah Lions to a key 112-105 road win over the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers in a Cascade Collegiate Conference contest Saturday night.
Richardson shot a blistering 13 of 25 from the field, including 8 of 16 from 3 point range. He also registered 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in playing the full 40 minutes. Teammate Ben Grandle was equally as impressive, hitting 9 of 14 3's in scoring 32 points in the game. On the night, the Lions connected for 23 3-pointers.
Multnomah (14-14,5-11), is fighting to nail down one of the final spots in CCC post season play, and was coming off an 108-93 loss to College of Idaho (24-3) Friday night in Caldwell. The Lions were forced to play the weekend road set without Justin Martin, the nation's leading scorer at 31.38 ppg. Richardson scored a game high 31 points in the loss to the nation's 3rd ranked team (COI) the night before, unperturbed in first assuming the team's point guard responsibilities. Martin, nursing a sore knee, hopes to return in time for the Lions final 2 games at home to end the Cascade Conference regular season next weekend.
With the 23 made shots from behind the arc Saturday night, The Lions now lead the NAIA with 494 3's on the year, and remain the highest scoring team in the nation. The 42 points by Richardson was the 2nd highest point total of his young career, just short of the matching 49 points he scored in tandem with Justin Martin in an early season record setting win over NCAA D-3 Pacific University.
Eastern Oregon placed 5 players in double figures in the Saturday loss to Multnomah, led by the 20 points and 14 rebounds of Landon Jones. In winning, the Lions also received major contributions from Brett Blackstock with 23 points and 7 assists and Andy Brown with 14 points and 12 rebounds.