Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
SEATTLE, Wash. - The Pacific Lutheran University men's basketball team hung tough against Division I Seattle University on Friday night before ultimately succumbing 76-65 in an exhibition contest inside the Connolly Complex. Brandon Lester had another big night with 23 points to pace the Lutes while Garth West finished with a double-double.
The pesky Lutes owned a lead midway through the opening half and trailed by just a possession with five minutes left in the game in the team's final exhibition game before emarking on the regular season on Wednesday.
"We were much improved over last week," said Head Coach Steve Dickerson.
"We got great contributions from Kyle Sawtell, Tyson Birrer, Markus Glenn, and Andrew Ardissone off the bench."
The host Redhawks tallied the opening eight points of the game but the Lutes battled back, utilizing a 10-0 run over a nearly four-minute stretch to seize a 13-11 lead with 12:57 remaining in the first half. West sparked the run with a layup while Dylan Foreman capped off the rally with a three to give the Lutes the lead. PLU's advantage grew to four points on a Lester jumper with 11:02 left but D1 Seattle countered, taking the lead for good on a three with 2:41 remaining and enjoyed a 39-32 edge at the halftime intermission.
The Redhawks staked a 12-point edge with 12:43 remaining but the Lutes outscored the hosts by an 18-9 margin over the next seven minutes, pulling within three with 5:11 remaining. PLU was unable to close the gap any further as Seattle U collected the 11-point win.
"West had a great game with a double-double and Lester was Lester. We had a shot with two minutes to go."
Lester led all scorers with 23 points, nailing four treys while West chipped in 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Foreman finished with nine points while Erik Swartout dished out four assists.
Brendan Westendorf led Seattle with 22 points while William Powell and Zachary Moore added 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Pacific Lutheran begins the regular season on Wednesday, heading to Portland to face Multnomah University. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.