TACOMA, Wash. – Rex Nelson turned in a double-double off the bench but it wasn't quite enough as the Puget Sound men's basketball team fell 62-53 to fourth-ranked Whitworth. Nelson scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss.
The Loggers (6-12, 1-8 NWC) found themselves in a deep hole to start the game as Whitworth went on a 11-0 to start. After a layup from Dustin McConnell, the Pirates (17-1, 9-0 NWC) led 16-3 for their largest lead of the night. Nelson knocked down two free throws to spark a lengthy Logger run.
Over the next 12-plus minutes, the Loggers dominated the game. They outscored the Pirates 24-5 with Nelson scoring 10 points during the spurt. Derek Jobe's three-pointer with two minutes left capped the run that started with the largest deficit of the night and turned it into the largest Logger lead of the night.
After Jobe's three, the Loggers were up 27-21 and held on to a 29-26 lead at the half.
The Loggers clung to their lead for the first four minutes of the second half but Taylor Farnsworth put the Pirates up 36-35 with 15:46 to go – a lead that the Pirates would hold the rest of the way.
The Pirates shot 41.4 percent in the second half compared to the Loggers draining just 29.6 percent of their shots in the closing 20 minutes. Nelson remained to be the driving force behind the Logger effort with 13 second half points.
George Valle led the Pirates with 15 points while McConnell finished with 13 and Taylor Farnsworth had 11. Whitworth took advantage of 16 Logger turnovers with 25 points off turnovers to key the victory.
Dan Cheledinas had eight points for the Loggers in his return to the starting lineup, including a 2-for-2 mark from three-point range.
The Loggers will look to put an end to their current losing streak tomorrow when they welcome Whitman into Memorial Fieldhouse at 6 p.m.