TACOMA, Washington – Multiple times late in the second half the Puget Sound men's basketball team was within one possession of No. 2 Whitman, but the Loggers could not break through and lost to the Blues, 85-77, in Memorial Fieldhouse Friday night.
Despite a 40-30 deficit at halftime, Puget Sound (11-13, 7-8 NWC) never backed down against Whitman (23-1, 15-0).
A 3-pointer by Gabriel Chaikin brought the Loggers to within 55-52 seven minutes into the second half. Whitman answered with a layup a few seconds later, but Chaikin immediately delivered a three-point play to cut Puget Sound's deficit to 57-55.
Three minutes later, Max Basile hit a layup to make it a one point game, 58-57.
Whitman went on an 11-1 run to take a 69-59 lead with five minutes left in regulation. But still, the Loggers were resilient. Jimmy Wohrer made three huge plays in a 20-second span. He hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 75-71, followed with a steal, and scored a fast-break layup to make it a one-possession game, 75-73, with 2:50 left. However, that's as close as Puget Sound would get for the rest of the game.
Chaikin led all players in scoring with 27 points. The senior guard is averaging 23.5 points in his last four games. Cal Hansen flirted with a double-double with eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Wohrer netted 18 points, and Stellan Roberts finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
In order to clinch a playoff berth, the Loggers must beat No. 12 Whitworth in Memorial Fieldhouse Saturday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m.