With an assembly of long-range shooters like former Lewis and Clark High guard Justin Martin, Multnomah – a tiny Christian school in Portland – has carved out a niche.
The Lions lead NAIA Division II in 3-pointers made (250) and attempted (635) by a wide margin, hoisting 3-pointers on nearly every possession.
Mutnomah hit 21 against Eastern Washington on Friday at Reese Court.
It didn’t matter.
The bigger, deeper and substantially more athletic Eagles handled the Lions 146-89, setting a pair of Big Sky Conference records in the process.
EWU forward Mason Peatling – whose 6-foot-8 frame towered over most of the diminutive Lions – scored a conference- and school-record 54 points in just 24 minutes of work.
He broke the school record set by former EWU stars Jake Wiley and Bogdan Bliznyuk, who each scored 45 points in a 130-24 triple overtime win over Portland State in 2017. Idaho State guard Willie Humes (53 points) set the previous conference record in 1971.
“I have no idea (how I feel about the record) now,” said Peatling, who hit 24 of his 30 attempts from the field. “That was a really weird game, and not something I go out and try to achieve. I’m usually setting up other people to score a lot.”
The Eagles (6-3) also set a Big Sky single-game scoring record previously held by Weber State, which dispatched West Coast Baptist 130-50 last month.
Five Eagles scored in double figures, including Jacob Davison (21 points), Tanner Groves (17 points), Kim Aiken Jr. (16 points, 18 rebounds). Ellis Magnuson and Tyler Robertson combined for 16 assists.
Multnomah, which ranks second in NAIA Division II in scoring (100.8 ppg), kept it somewhat close most of the first half.
Martin, a Spokane native who had more than a dozen fans in attendance, was a big reason why.
The 5-7 guard scored a team-high 34 points, providing a sequence that included a deep 3-pointer, alley-oop pass and midrange jump shot to cut EWU’s lead to 45-39 at the 6:34 mark.
EWU answered with a 35-8 run, going into halftime with a 80-47 lead, a school record for first-half points.
“Mason had a great game and it was fun to watch him play,” EWU head coach Shantay Legans said. “Our guys were smart and got him touches. We have such an unselfish team – we had 39 assists tonight.”
Multnomah is in its fifth season as an NAIA member, previously playing in the National Christian College Association along with the likes of Portland Bible College, which EWU handled 107-25 last month. The Lions were recently picked ninth in the 11-team Cascade Conference preseason poll.
Martin, who leads NAIA Division II in scoring (31 ppg), went viral a year ago when he scored 71 points in a win over Warner Pacific, hitting 15 of 17 3-pointers.
He graduated from LC in 2016 and played his first two seasons at Wenatchee Valley College before transferring to Multnomah, which has roughly 400 students.
“It was nice to have everyone come watch me play. I felt like a home game,” Martin said. “Eastern was a lot bigger. They bring four or five bigs off the bench and are a lot longer, so that’s difficult.”
Legans said he liked Martin’s game.
“Spokane should be proud of Justin Martin. I really liked how he played,” Legans said. “We missed a guy out of Spokane. Sorry about that, Eag Nation.”
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