NEWBERG, Ore.—Despite a career-high 33 points by Erin Barber, the most by any Logger in nearly a year, the Puget Sound men's basketball squad fell 89-77 Saturday night to George Fox at Wheeler Sports Center in Newberg, Ore.
Barber scored 33 points Saturday night, the highest by a Logger player since Feb. 8, 2013. He netted 11 field goals and eight free throws on the night, also career highs for the academic junior from Puyallup, Wash. Barber was particularly hot in the second half as 25 of those 33 points came in the period. He went seven of 10 from the field and three of four from beyond the arc in the second, and he netted all eight free throws attempted in the frame as well.
Barber's career game was in a losing effort, however, as George Fox won 89-77. The hosts scored eight of the first 10 points, taking an 8-2 lead after the first three minutes. Puget Sound trimmed its deficit to two after jumpers by Nick Holden and Barber, but went on a 12-0 run over the next five and a half minutes to take a 14-point advantage.
After that run, the Loggers embarked their own scoring streak, tallying the next eight points to crawl back within six. Rex Nelson kicked off the stretch with a traditional three-point play at the 9:50 mark, and Holden, Matt Reid, and Dan Cheledinas all contributed during the minute-and-a-half run.
George Fox re-took a 10-point advantage, but between the 5:47 and 2:52 marks the Loggers chipped away, coming within two points at 28-26 after a layup by Nelson. George Fox scored three more baskets—one a three-pointer—while the Loggers added two jumpers in the final 2:52 to head into the locker room with the score at 35-31.
Coming out of the half, the Bruins took seven-point advantage after a free throw and layup in the first 2:29. At that time Barber took off, scoring 11 of the game's next 15 points to even the score at 42 with 13:04 remaining in regulation.
Over the next three minutes, however, the Bruins went on a run even Barber could not counter. They exploded for 17 points while limiting the Loggers to just five, tallying four steals during the stretch. Barber tried to bring the Loggers back by hitting four free throw shots in a period of five seconds midway through the period, but George Fox responded with a three-ball of its own. Nelson then hit a layup to bring the Loggers within single digits for the final time in the game.
Over the final nine minutes, the Loggers attempted to chip away at the lead, but they couldn't get a longer streak going to cut it down significantly. George Fox hit enough field goals and free throws to hold back any Logger advance and took the game by a final score of 89-77.
Nelson and Cheledinas also scored in double digits for the Loggers, netting 12 points each. Nelson added 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the year and second in conference action. For the Bruins, Spencer Bolte scored 27 points and Jason Martin grabbed eight rebounds. Three other Bruins scored in double digits, however.
The Logger defense allowed the Bruins to shoot 47.1% from the field, the team's highest field goal percentage defense mark since Dec. 30. The mark snaps the Loggers' streak of holding teams to under 40.0% from the field in seven straight games and the beginning of conference play.
Puget Sound (9-8, 5-3 NWC) will continue its road trip next weekend, playing at Linfield Friday, Jan. 31 and at Lewis & Clark Saturday, Feb. 1. Both games will tip off at 8:00 p.m.