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Lutes Lose at L&C, But Playoff Hopes Still Alive

James Conti (1)
James Conti (1)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Pacific Lutheran lost a 63-53 Northwest Conference men's basketball game at Lewis & Clark on Saturday night, but a contest that ended minutes later in Salem kept PLU's hope of a postseason playoff berth alive heading into the final weekend of the season.

When Willamette secured a 77-75 win over George Fox, the Lutes knew that their postseason aspirations lived for another week. George Fox currently occupies the fourth-and-final playoff spot with its 8-6 record. PLU and Lewis & Clark are both in the hunt with 7-7 records. The Lutes close out their season next weekend, hosting Pacific and George Fox on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.

Pacific Lutheran made the game's first basket - Cameron Reister's three-pointer - 25 seconds in and it led throughout the first half. The team had a seven-point lead on three occasions before eventually settling for a 28-27 lead at the break.

Lewis & Clark gained the momentum and the lead in the opening minutes of the final period. Marcus Wells hit a trey with 13:25 to play, breaking a 32-32 tie, and once the Pios got on top, they stayed there. They gradually added to their lead, taking a double-digit advantage on Donato Perconti's two free throws with 4:22 left, and the Lutes couldn't rally.

James Conti scored 14 points and Drew Earnest, Reister and Kai Hoyt all added nine for the Lutes, now 10-13 for the season. PLU had trouble finding its shooting touch, converting just 34 percent from the field. Cameron Schilling led the team with seven rebounds.

PJ Taylor scored 16 points to lead Lewis & Clark, which shot 48 percent from the field while also taking a 39-31 rebounding edge.

- PLU -