TACOMA, Wash.—The Puget Sound men's basketball team ran into a physical SUNY Geneseo squad Monday night, falling to the Knights 80-66 at Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma, Wash.
The visitors took an early 10-2 lead in the first 6:27, but Puget Sound roared back to tie the game with a 7-0 run over the next three minutes. Senior Rex Nelson scored five of those points to spur on the Loggers.
The hosts took their first lead of the game with 6:51 left in the half when freshman Matt Bender drained a three-pointer for his first collegiate bucket. Nick Holden added to the lead with a layup giving the Loggers their largest lead of the game at the 6:01 mark.
Closing out the first half, however, Geneseo went on a 19-5 run to eliminate the Logger advantage. The Knights' Jordan Jones scored 11 of those points during the 5:56 run, including six of the final eight points of the half. Because of the late-half run by Geneseo, the Loggers found themselves down 35-24 heading into halftime.
"The first half, Geneseo played a lot harder than we did, and with more of a sense of urgency," said Logger men's basketball head coach Justin Lunt. "We got in foul trouble and they went on that two-minute stretch at the end that just killed us, and I thought that was our transition defense.
The second half started much like the first one ended as the Knights extended their lead to 21 points, 51-30, in the period's first 6:44 of play. Over the next three and a half minutes the Loggers trimmed their deficit to 56-39, but back-to-back three pointers from Andy Drescher put the Knights back up by 23.
With six and a half minutes remaining in regulation, the Loggers started to trim their deficit again. Eight consecutive points put the hosts within 14 at 68-54, but the Knights pushed their advantage back out to 18 points with 1:18 remaining. Keith Shattuck scored six of the final eight points of the game, but it wasn't enough as Puget Sound fell 80-66.
"Defensively I thought they were physical, offensively they were physical; out of all the teams we've played this year, we haven't played a physical team like that. Kudos to them, they did a great job of beating us up," said Lunt. "The second half we came out and played a little harder, though, with more of a sense of urgency and sense of pride. We'll get back to it tomorrow."
Nelson led all scorers Monday after netting 18 points. He's scored at least 11 points all nine games this season and is tied for fourth in the Northwest Conference with 17.2 points a contest. AJ Maw and Erin Barber also scored in double-digits, netting 11 and 10 points respectively. Holden led the squad with seven rebounds. As a team, the Loggers shot 23-57 from the floor for a field goal percentage of 40.4 and four of 19 from three-point range for a three-point percentage of 21.1. For Geneseo, Jones led the Knights with 16 points while Gordon Lyons netted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Matt Curry added 11 points as well. The visitors from New York shot 49.1% from the field, hitting 26 of 53 attempts, and 44.4% from beyond the arc.
With the loss, Puget Sound falls to 4-5 on the year, all non-conference matchups. The Loggers kick off their NWC slate Friday, January 3 when they host Lewis & Clark. That game will tip off at 8:00 p.m. at Memorial Fieldhouse.