L&C Thwarts Loggers Late Comeback Attempt
PORTLAND, Ore. – A slow start proved too much to overcome as the Puget Sound men's basketball team fell 78-72 loss to Lewis & Clark. The Loggers (18-6, 10-5 NWC) ended the game on a 15-7 run but couldn't complete the comeback.
The Loggers momentarily drop into third place as Whitman finished its season 11-5 with a win over Willamette tonight. However, the Loggers still control their own destiny as a win tomorrow will tie them with Whitman for second place in the Northwest Conference and give them the second seed in the NWC Tournament via tiebreaker.
Kaleb Shelton-Johnson led the Loggers with 15 points on the night but the Pioneers had five players score in double digits to key the victory. Four more Logger players scored nine points each, including Anthony Gittens, Ryan Rogers, Edric Egberaure and Rex Holmes (off the bench).
It was a tale of two halves as Lewis & Clark came out on fire for Senior Day. They shot 56.7 percent over the first 20 minutes and built a 10-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game.
The early run proved to be crucial as the Loggers later made a comeback. The 10-point lead reached as much as 15 in the first half. With 9:43 remaining, a jumper from Shelton-Johnson cut the lead to six at 24-18 but the Pios scored the next eight points to extend their lead back into double digits.
James Hollins and PJ Taylor led the Pios with 16 points each while Marcus Wells contributed 15 points. Ross Erickson finished with 12 and Bradley Carter pitched in 11 off the bench. Taylor's layup with 14 seconds left gave the Pios a 15 point lead at the half.
The Loggers trailed by 14 points as late as the 2:37 mark in the second half but went on the late15-5 run. Unfortunately for the Loggers, the run came too late as the clock ran out before they could complete the comeback. Rex Holmes pulled the Loggers within four points when he knocked down a three-pointer with seven seconds remaining. Wells connected on both his free throw attempts just moments later to clinch the win.
The Loggers will face Linfield tomorrow at 8 p.m. in a must-win game in order to secure the No. 2 seed in next week's NWC Tournament.