MCMINNVILLE, Ore.—The Puget Sound men's basketball team used the three-ball to great effect Friday night, beating Linfield 76-69 Friday night at Ted Wilson Gymnasium in McMinnville, Ore.
The Loggers saw their one of their best performances from beyond the arc in at least three years, going 10 of 21 from three-point land for a 47.6 three-point percentage. That three-point percentage is the highest field goal percentage over that time in games of 10 or more successful three-pointers. It's also their second-highest of any game this season, bettered only by a 53.3% mark Nov. 23 versus Old Westbury. Their 10 successful three-balls were the most for Puget Sound in nearly a year as they last hit the mark Feb. 8, 2013 against Lewis & Clark.
Puget Sound jumped out to a 12-5 lead after the first 3:30 minutes of action. James Osorio scored five of those points, netting a layup at 18:46, then hitting a three-pointer 47 seconds later. Erin Barber followed Osorio's three with one of his own, countering a three-point shot from Linfield 22 seconds before.
Six minutes later, the Wildcats pulled within two after a 6-2 run. They then came within one with 7:37 left in the half. At that point the Logger defense stepped up, holding Linfield to just one three-pointer for the rest of the half. On offense they ended the half with a 22-3 run thanks four three-point shots, including three consecutive three-pointers from Osorion between the 4:49 to 2:52 marks. Barber drilled a three with 28 seconds left in the half to give the Loggers a 46-26 lead heading into the break.
Two and a half minutes into the second half, the Loggers saw their biggest lead of the game after Nick Holden netted a layup to put the visitors up 21 at 49-28. After Holden's bucket, Linfield scored eight straight to come within 12 at 49-37. A three pointer from Dan Cheledinas halted the Wildcat run, and then the guests re-took an 18-point lead after another three-ball from Cheledinas and four points from AJ Maw.
The Wildcats came back within 12 with a 7-1 run, and they came within five with 4:21 left in the second half. Barber and Rex Nelson made back-to-back buckets to push the lead back to nine, and the Loggers nailed eight free throws in the final 1:35 to close out the Logger victory, their 10th of the season.
Osorio scored a career-high 21 points, 19 of them coming in the first half. He drained five three-pointers by himself, the most by a Logger in nearly a year. Three other Loggers hit double-digits with Barber netting 17, Nelson scoring 11, and Maw earning 10. Holden led the Loggers with eight rebounds. He also added eight points, one steal, and one block on the night.
As a team, the Loggers shot 47.9% from the floor, just 0.3% higher than their three-point percentage. They also shot 69.0% from the free throw line, netting 20 charity shots on the night.
The Loggers (10-8, 6-3 NWC) wrap up their current four-game road trip Saturday, Feb. 1, with a contest at Lewis & Clark. They tip off against the Pioneers at 8:00 p.m. at the Pamplin Sports Center in Portland, Ore.