Puget Sound prepares for two top-10 nationally ranked teams

Photo by Ronnie Glover / D3photography.com
Photo by Ronnie Glover / D3photography.com

TACOMA, Washington – This weekend marks a tall task for the Puget Sound men's basketball team when it hits the road to take on a couple of top-10 nationally ranked teams. The Loggers play at No. 6 Whitworth Friday, Jan. 18, and then battle No. 4 Whitman Saturday, Jan. 19.

WHO   Puget Sound at Whitworth
 WHEN   Jan. 18, 2019 | 8 p.m.
 WHERE   Spokane, Wash. 
 LINKS  Stats | Video

 

WHO   Puget Sound at Whitman 
 WHEN   Jan. 19, 2019 | 6 p.m.
 WHERE   Walla Walla, Wash. 
 LINKS  Stats | Video

 

Around the NWC

As it stands right now, Puget Sound is on the fringe of the NWC Tournament. The top four teams qualify, and the Loggers are in fifth place with a 3-3 NWC mark. Puget Sound trails George Fox (4-3), Linfield (5-2), Whitworth (5-1), and Whitman (6-0). Pacific Lutheran also has a 3-3 record in conference play.

 

Approaching more milestones

Last season, Jimmy Wohrer set the Puget Sound single-season for made 3-pointers (104). During the first game of this season, Wohrer reached 1,000 points for his career. And the senior from Redwood, California is approaching yet another milestone. Wohrer needs just 22 3-pointers to become Puget Sound's all-time 3-point king. Chase Curtiss (2002-06) holds the current record with 275 career 3-pointers.

 

Sweep the week

The Loggers came away with much-needed conference home wins against Willamette and Lewis & Clark last weekend. Cal Hansen posted a double-double in both games, while Jimmy Wohrer averaged 18.5 points per contest. Stellan Roberts stuffed the stat sheet, averaging 15.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists against the Bearcats and Pioneers.

 

Improved defense

Overall this season, Puget Sound ranks second-to-last in the NWC for points allowed per game (87.2). However, the Loggers have clamped down in recent games. Through the last three contests, the Loggers are allowing just 76.3 points per game.

 

From a distance

The Loggers to continue to be the most efficient 3-point shooting team in the NWC, as their 42.4 percent mark from distance leads all nine conference teams. Although the Loggers average nearly 25 3-point attempts per game, Puget Sound is 3-0 when it attempts no more than 21 3-pointers in a game.

 

Shook off the rust

Puget Sound suffered shooting woes from the free-throw line early in the season, shooting just 63.2 percent from the charity stripe through the first three games. However, the Loggers have drastically improved on that front, and they enter the weekend with a conference-best 73.9 free-throw percentage.

 

Scouting No. 6 Whitworth (13-2, 5-1 NWC)

The Pirates' only losses this season have come against Texas-Dallas and No. 4 Whitman. Whitworth leads the NWC in field-goal percentage (52.7 percent), and it ranks second in fewest turnovers committed per game (14.1). Ben College leads the NWC in scoring (21.5 points per game), and Jared Christy is the conference's top rebounder (9.9).

 

Scouting No. 4 Whitman (14-1, 6-0 NWC)

The only loss for the Blues this season was a double-overtime thriller against Pomona-Pitzer (Nov. 24). Since then, Whitman has rattled off 10 consecutive wins. Whitman is second in the NWC in scoring (103.0), rebounding (39.2), and 3-point shooting (40.8 percent). Joey Hewitt leads the team in scoring (15.8), while Darne Duckett (11.7) and Jack Stewart (11.1) are also averaging double figures in scoring.