SPOKANE, Wash.—The University of Puget Sound men's basketball team experienced its toughest loss of the season Saturday night, falling 82-81 to Old Westbury at Whitworth Fieldhouse in Spokane, Wash.
The contest was close the entire way as neither team tallied a lead greater than seven points. There were 11 tie scores and 20 lead changes throughout the game. The first half was particularly tight as the Loggers tallied one lead of five points and both saw a four point advantage.
The first lead of four points came with eight minutes left in the first half. Up 31-30, Ray Parker made a three-pointer at 8:06 to give the Panthers a four-point advantage. The Loggers cut the lead down to one a minute later then retook the lead at 4:40 when Nick Holden made a layup for a 37-36 Puget Sound advantage.
They scored the next four points when Holden added a jumper and James Osorio netted a pair of free throws, taking a five point advantage with three to play in the half. Both teams scored on both of their next possessions, keeping the Logger lead at four. Old Westbury's PJ Page made a layup at the end of the half, however, and the Loggers went into the break up three, 46-43.
Holden scored the first four points in the second half, making two layups in the first 2:15 and extending the Puget Sound lead to seven, the largest lead of the game. The teams swapped buckets for the next three minutes, then Old Westbury drained a layup, free throw, and a three-pointer to cut the Logger lead to one.
The Panthers temporarily took the lead again at 11:08, but Puget Sound snagged it right back at 9:43 with two free throws from Sharthak Mukhopadhyay. They held that lead or kept the score tied until 2:40 left in the game when Al Alexander made a layup to give the Panthers an 82-80 advantage. Rex Nelson made a free throw at 2:16 to bring the Loggers within one, but they could not pull off another score, falling by one at 82-81.
The Loggers outshot Old Westbury 54.0% to 42.5% from the field and 53.3% to 30.4% from beyond the arc, both figures Puget Sound's best of the young season. The difference, however, came in the number of shots each team took: the Loggers attempted 50 field goals, making 27, and were successful on eight of 15 three-pointers. The Panthers, however, made 31 of 73 field goals and seven of 23 attempts from beyond the arc.
Puget Sound also out-rebounded Old Westbury 37-34 but committed 10 turnovers as opposed to the Panthers' six. Parker led all scorers with 24 points while AJ Maw paced the Loggers with 19 points. Three other Puget Sound players scored in double digits as Nelson scored 16, Holden scored 12, and Keith Shattuck tallied 11 points.
The Loggers (2-3, 0-0 Northwest Conference) next take the court Friday, Nov. 29 when they square off against Denison at the PLU Thanksgiving Classic. That contest tips off at 6:00 p.m. at Olson Gymnasium on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Wash.