TACOMA, Wash. – The Puget Sound men's basketball team held off a second half rally to defeat New Hope Christian 85-82 in its season-opener on Friday. Dan Cheleddinas had 20 points to lead the Loggers (1-0) and Derek Jobe added 19 more.
The Loggers made an early statement as an energetic team supplied pressure on defense and an efficient offense. The Loggers jumped all over the Deacons early and sprinted out to a 20-point lead with 7:37 left in the first half.
Sharthak Mukhopadhyay gave the Loggers their biggest lead of the night when his jumper put the Loggers up 32-11. However, the Deacons finally found their rhythm and posted a 20-7 run to end the half and cut the lead down to just eight at 39-31.
Drew Wiley led the Deacons with nine points but it was his performance in the second half that almost single-handedly kept the Deacons in the game. Wiley went off for 15 points in the second half to finish with 24 points in the game. He was 7-of-10 on three-point attempts.
The Deacons cut the lead down to three almost immediately before the Loggers made a run to put some more padding on their lead. One of Jobe's four threes in the second half brought the lead back to 11 points at 63-52.
Jobe did his best to counteract Wiley's out burst as he scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half. However, the Deacons refused to back down and eventually cut the lead back to three in the closing minutes of the game on a layup from Austin Candoza.
That would be as close as the Deacons would get as the Loggers hit some big free throws down the stretch to keep the game at two possessions. The Deacons had a shot to tie up the game at the buzzer but Wiley's contested three-pointer went off the back of rim as time expired.
Tarance Glyn had a double-double for the Deacons with 15 points and 16 rebounds while Candoza added 14 points.
The Loggers received scoring from 12 different players on the night, which is more players than the Deacons have on their roster. Gabe Borboa had three big blocks and scored six points.
The Loggers are back home tomorrow for the conclusion of the Doug McArthur Classic. They host UT-Dallas at 7:30 p.m.