TACOMA, Wash.—The Puget Sound men's basketball team kicked off its 2013-14 campaign with a 13 point victory over Evergreen State Friday night, a 71-58 win on day one of the second annual Doug McArthur Classic held at Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma, Wash.
The Loggers took an early 15-12 lead after five and a half minutes of action. They then made the next three baskets, including a three pointer from Dan Cheledinas to take a 21-12 lead.
Puget Sound maintained that nine point lead through 11 minutes. From 8:44 to 2:27, the Loggers held Evergreen State to just two points on zero field goals. They, however, scored only two buckets themselves in the stretch, taking a 13-point lead before Evergreen State managed their next bucket.
Puget Sound went into halftime up 14. The Loggers held the margin thanks to two straight Keith Shattuck three-pointers, the only buckets in the final two minutes.
Winger Rex Nelson started out hot for the Loggers, scoring 15 points in the first 20 minutes of the game. He drained the first field goal of the game, then netted four of the five additional buckets he attempted in the first seven minutes. Over the entire half, he shot 70%, going 7-for-10 and adding three rebounds.
As a team, the Loggers hit 51.6% of their field goals in the first period, going 4-for-10 from beyond the arc. They also out-rebounded Evergreen state 18-12 and forced the Geoducks into nine turnovers.
In the second half the Loggers controlled the tempo. They made big defensive stops on Evergreen State, and they only turned the ball over once.
They extended their lead out to 17 with 13:21 left to play in the contest and hit that margin again with 8:22 left to play. That would end up as their largest lead of the day, but they never trailed at all during the game and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the entire second half.
"Our keys offensively were to get the basketball inside," said Puget Sound head coach Justin Lunt. "I thought we did a real good job getting paint catches and getting the ball to Rex, who had a heck of a game. Defensively we did a real good job, forcing Calhoun to make some tough contested shots. We took care of the ball, too. It was nice to see we had only seven turnovers."
Nelson ended up with 24 points, a career high, and tied the Geoducks' Kyle Calhoun for game-high. Nick Holden tallied a double-double, hauling in 11 rebounds while scoring 10 points, and Shattuck also scored in double-digits by adding 11 points. Sharthak Mukhopadhyay led all players with four assists. The Loggers went 26-of-60 in the field, a 43.3% clip, and went 7-of-19 from beyond three point range, 36.8%.
In the opening game of the Doug McArthur Classic, Pacific Lutheran beat Schreiner 76-75 on a last-second three pointer, while Whitworth beat Trinity 71-53 in game two of the tournament.
The second annual Doug McArthur Classic continues Saturday, Nov. 16 with two games on tap. Pacific Lutheran takes on Trinity in the early game at 6:00 p.m., and the Loggers (1-0, 0-0 NWC) face Schreiner at 8:00 for both teams' second game of the season. All games will take place at Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma.