SALEM, Ore. – AJ Maw had 19 points and Dan Cheledinas scored seven of his 12 points in the last minute to propel the Puget Sound men's basketball team to a 78-70 win at Willamette on Saturday. Four Loggers were in double digits as the Loggers (8-13, 3-9 NWC) pulled out the narrow victory.
The game went back and forth in the first half but the Loggers took the slight 42-39 lead into halftime. Rex Holmes had all of his 11 points in the opening 20 minutes to go along with four assists.
Maw matched the effort in the second half with 11 of his team-leading 19 points in the final 20 minutes.
The Loggers narrow halftime lead was maintained over the first six minutes of the second half but Terrell Malley sunk a pair of free throws with 14:14 left to give the Bearcats (7-13, 4-7 NWC) a 49-48 lead. Maw responded with a three-pointer on the Loggers' next trip down the floor to regain a lead that would stand the rest of the way.
The Loggers looked to blow open a tight game with a 7-0 run that saw their lead grow to its highest point. Maw's layup with 4:27 to go gave the Loggers a 66-57 lead.
Malley brought the Bearcats nearly all the way with just over one minute to play as his jumper sliced the lead back to two points at 70-68. Cheledinas responded with a three-pointer on the Loggers' next possession and knocked down four free throws in the final 40 seconds to keep the Loggers out in front and secure the win.
Malley did everything he could to keep the Bearcats in it with a game-high 29 points. Sean Dart added 15 points and seven boards for the hosts.
A seesaw first half saw the Loggers trail by seven and lead by as much as eight. They were down 24-17 at the 7:28 mark of the first half but went on a 10-0 run over the next minute and a half to take a three-point lead.
The Loggers were led by 19 points from Maw and 12 from Cheledinas. Holmes and Rex Nelson each added 11 points to the winning effort.
The Loggers will return to Memorial Fieldhouse for their final four games this season. First up, they will host Lewis & Clark on Friday at 8 p.m.