TACOMA, Washington – The Puget Sound men's basketball team dropped its season-opening game to visiting Warner Pacific on Wednesday night, 81-68. The Loggers suffer their first home-opening loss since the 2009-10 season.
Erin Barber led Puget Sound (0-1) in scoring with 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field. Nick Holden came up one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Loggers.
The Knights' (6-1) Doug Thomas led all scorers with 29 points.
Despite shooting 59.3 percent from the floor in the first half, the Loggers trailed entering halftime, 44-38. Keith Shattuck's hot hand kept Puget Sound in contention, as he totaled 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field, including a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
Puget Sound made it a one-possession game five minutes into the second half after a jumper by Holden followed by Barber's layup cut the Knights' lead to 49-47. However, Warner Pacific went on an 8-1 run to increase its lead to 57-48 with 12:44 on the clock.
The Knights' advantage reached double-digits at 63-53, but Barber hit a 3-pointer from the right side to cut the Loggers' deficit to 63-56 with 7:07 left in the second half. It was the last time Puget Sound trailed by less than 10 points as Warner Pacific answered back with a 3-pointer and three consecutive free-throw, increasing its lead to 69-56 with just over six minutes on the clock.
The Loggers shot 49.1 percent from the field, but their 20 turnovers compared to the Kights' 12 proved to be a crucial difference. Puget Sound outrebounded Warner Pacific, 36-28.
Puget Sound returns to action when it hosts the third annual Doug McArthur classic beginning on Friday, Nov. 21, when the Loggers tipoff against Mt. Saint Mary (N.Y.) at 8 p.m.
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