NWC Semifinal bout between Loggers and Pirates set for Thursday

NWC Semifinal bout between Loggers and Pirates set for Thursday

TACOMA, Washington – The postseason push for the Puget Sound men's basketball team begins Thursday, Feb. 22, at Whitworth. Tipoff for the No. 3-seed Loggers against the No. 2-seed Pirates is scheduled for 7 p.m.

 

 WHO

 Puget Sound at Whitworth

 WHERE

 Spokane, Wash. | Whitworth Fieldhouse  

 WHEN

 Thursday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.

 LIVE 

 Stats | Video

 

How the Loggers got here (18-6, 11-5 NWC)

A preseason poll of NWC head coaches indicated that the Loggers were expected to finish sixth in the NWC, but the Loggers exceeded expectations by grabbing the No. 3 seed of the NWC Tournament. Puget Sound's new up-tempo style of play surprised opponents early in the season, as the Loggers began the 2017-18 campaign with a 6-0 record. One of those wins was against No. 15 Claremont-M-S on the road. The Loggers finished the regular season in the same fashion it started the season – with a six-game winning streak.

 

How the Pirates got here (22-3, 14-2 NWC)

Whitworth met preseason expectations by claiming the No. 2 seed of the NWC Tournament. The Pirates' only conference losses this season came against No. 1 Whitman. Whitworth lost one non-conference game against Wheaton (Ill.). Following a one-point loss to Whitman (Feb. 6), Whitworth needed overtime to beat George Fox (Feb. 9). Whitworth is ranked No. 4 in the country by D3hoops.com.

 

Almost beating No. 1

Both Puget Sound and Whitworth had a good chance this season to upset the top-ranked team in NCAA D-III, Whitman. During their first matchup against the Blues (Dec. 2), the Loggers held a 104-103 lead with less than three minutes on the clock. Whitman still outlasted the Loggers, 111-108. During their last meeting of the regular season (Feb. 6), Whitworth held a 99-98 lead over Whitman when the Blues' Tim Howell drew a foul with one second left on the clock and hit both free-throws to give Whitman a 100-99 victory.

 

In recent history

There's no better time for the Loggers to break their postseason losing streak against Whitworth. Since beating Whitworth in the 2009 NCAA D-III Tournament, the Loggers have lost three consecutive NWC Tournament games against the Pirates. Whitworth won the 2012 and 2014 NWC Tournament Finals against the Loggers. The Pirates also topped Puget Sound in the 2016 NWC Tournament Semifinals.

 

Head-to-head this year

Whitworth won both games against the Loggers during the 2017-18 regular season. The Pirates beat the Loggers, 95-84, in Memorial Fieldhouse Dec. 1. Jimmy Wohrer led all players in scoring with 25 points, and Bell College led Whitworth with 25 points. Whitworth committed 20 turnovers to Puget Sound's 24. On Jan. 27, the Loggers lost at the Pirates, 111-97. Once agaib, Wohrer led all players in scoring, this time netting 28 points. Stellan Roberts notched a double-double off the bench with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jared Christy had a team-high 26 points for Whitworth.

  

Statistical ranks

Among all NCAA D-III teams, Puget Sound ranks 11th in made 3-pointers (291), eighth in scoring (96.6), fourth in steals per game (14.2), and third in offensive rebounds per game (16.92).

 

The other semifinal game

Linfield (16-8, 10-6) earned the No. 4-seed and will play at No. 1-seed Whitman (25-0, 16-0 NWC) Thursday at 7 p.m.

 

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