TACOMA, Wash.—The Puget Sound men's basketball squad dropped its first game of the season Sunday, losing 77-56 to Trinity in the final game of the second annual Doug McArthur Classic at Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma, Wash.
The visiting Tigers jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the first five minutes of the match. Consecutive three-pointers from Dan Cheledinas and Keith Shattuck along with a layup by Matt Bergland drew the Loggers even at 11, then Cheledinas made two more three-balls to give the Loggers a 17-13 lead halfway through the period.
Trinity retook the lead with seven minutes left in the first, however, embarking on a 11-3 run that put Trinity back on top 32-22 with 2:42 to go. Shattuck and Rex Nelson added jumpers in the final 1:22 of the half and the Loggers went into halftime trailing by just six.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half with Trinity shooting 31.2% and Puget Sound shooting 33.3% in the first 20 minutes. The Tigers made six three-pointers and six of seven free throws while the Loggers went 4-of-15 from beyond the arch and made just two freebies on five attempts.
Like Saturday's 68-65 win over Schreiner, the Loggers trailed to start the second half. Unlike Saturday, however, the Loggers could not trim their deficit in the opening minutes of the second half. The teams traded two-pointers for the first two minutes, then Trinity made three straight to pull out to a 44-32 lead.
After that, the Loggers managed to stay within 13 until three minutes remained in the game. At that point, Trinity added 12 in the final three minutes of the game to push their lead to 77-56, the final score.
Trinity outshot Puget Sound in the second half, making 15 of 24 shots attempted for a 62.5% clip in the half. The visitors ended the contest with a field goal percentage of 44.6 and a three-point percentage of 40.9, both better than Puget Sound's marks of 35.7 and 22.7, respectively. The Tigers also forced 15 Puget Sound turnovers and turned it over themselves just six times.
Cheledinas led the Loggers with 13 points—nine of them from three-pointers—and Nelson added another double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. Robert Kitzinger of Trinity led all players with 21 points, but Nelson's 10 rebounds was the game-high in that category.
"Going into the game, I had a feeling Trinity would show up to play," said Justin Lunt, head coach of the Loggers. "They're a good team, they've got pride. But we have to get better defensively. They got us out of flow going from zone to man, it was something we weren't used to playing. Overall it was a good weekend for us, though, and we just have to get better."
Puget Sound (2-1, O-0 NWC) will next head to Spokane, Wash., for the Whitworth Classic. The Loggers take on Colorado College Friday, Nov. 22, in their tournament opener, and will square off against Old Westbury Saturday, Nov. 23. Both games will start at 6:00 p.m.