TACOMA, Washington – The Puget Sound men's basketball team had the nation's top-ranked team on the ropes, but the Loggers narrowly lost to No. 1 Whitman, 111-108, in Memorial Fieldhouse Saturday night.
Neither side led by more than three points through the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Blues (5-0, 2-0 NWC) took a 103-100 lead with 3:26 on the clock, but Nate Vieira earned a trip to the line and drilled a pair of free-throws to make it a one-point game. Jimmy Wohrer gave Puget Sound (6-2, 0-2 NWC) a 104-103 advantage after he connected on two free-throws with 2:49 on the clock.
Whitman took a two-point lead, 106-104, but Vieira hit a crafty layup to even the score with 1:32 to play. Following a defensive stop by the Loggers, Wohrer drove down the middle of the lane a hit a layup that gave Puget Sound a 108-106 lead with 57 seconds on the clock.
Unfortunately for the Maroon & White, those were the Loggers' last points of the game.
Freshman Zion Shepherd had the best game of his young collegiate career. The athletic forward scored 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor. Shepherd also grabbed nine rebounds in his 17 minutes of action.
Walker Shibley-Styer was on fire from 3-point change. He finished 6-for-11 from beyond the arc, and totaled 18 points for the Loggers. Gabriel Chaikin scored 15 points, including a trey that gave Puget Sound a 100-98 lead with 4:34 left in regulation. Vieira finished with 12 points.
As a team, Puget Sound shot 38.6 percent (17-for-44) from 3-point range, and 45.7 percent (37-for-81) from the floor. Whitman finished 51.9 percent from the floor, but 31.3 percent from distance.
The Loggers have a couple of weeks to catch their breath before playing at Warner Pacific on Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.