MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – A tug-of-war second half ended in the hands of the home team as the Puget Sound men's basketball team fell 70-65 at Linfield on Friday. The lead changed hands eight times in the game to go along with seven ties as the two teams traded blows.
The Loggers (6-8, 1-4 NWC) reversed an eight-point halftime deficit in the first 2:04 of the second half behind the force of a 10-0 run over the first four minutes. Down 35-28 at halftime, the Loggers earned three trips to the free throw line in the first two minutes to fuel a quick eight points.
Two free throws from Rex Holmes just over two minutes into the half drew the Loggers even at 36-36. His jumper at the 16:14 mark gave the Loggers their first lead since the midpoint of the first half.
Andrew Batiuk finally broke the silence for the Wildcats (3-11, 2-3 NWC) when he knocked down a jumper with 15:18 left on the clock. Two free throws from AJ Maw and a jumper from Rex Nelson put the Loggers up four just over one minute later.
The teams traded leads with Batuik's jumper reclaiming a Wildcat lead with just over 14 minutes left and a three-pointer from Derek Jobe putting the 52-49 lead in the Loggers hands with 9:24 left.
The Logger lead grew to as much as eight, completely reversing the deficit the Loggers faced at the break. Holmes' three-point shot with 4:48 to go gave the Loggers a 63-55 lead.
A three-pointer from Brandon Harris and a jumper in the paint from Nick Cantonwine quickly sliced the Logger lead to just three points and still with 3:54 to go. Batuik cut the lead to one before Nelson sliced his way to the rim for a 65-62 Logger lead and 2:24 remaining.
A couple successful possessions for the Wildcats reclaimed their lead for the first time in 10 minutes when Harris put the Wildcats up 66-65 with 1:23 left. The Loggers were not able to return the favor as they went 0-for-5 in their final four possessions as Batuik knocked down 4-of-6 free throws to secure the Wildcat win.
Holmes led four Loggers in double digits with 17 points while Jobe had 15 points. Riggs Yarbro had 14 points and Nelson tallied 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Batuik led the Wildcats with 25 points and 12 rebounds while Harris pitched in 16 points.
The Loggers will look to rebound against Lewis & Clark tomorrow when the take on the Pioneers at 8 p.m.