Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Jared Christy scored 14 points off the bench in his return but it was not enough as the Pacific Lutheran University mens' basketball team suffered an 81-69 setback to Illinois Institute of Technology on Sunday in the opening day of the UCSC Holiday Classic inside Kaiser Permanente Arena.
The Lutes (5-5) roared out to a strong start, utilizing a 9-2 run early in the contest to stake a 14-6 edge with 13:43 remaining off a Christy jumper. The Scarlet Hawks (6-3) quickly answered scoring the next eight points before enjoying a 33-30 edge at the halftime intermission.
IIT collected the first nine points of the second stanza, building a double-digit buffer and never looked back en route to the win. The Lutes whittled a 21-point deficit down to just seven with 5:51 remaining on a Brandon Lester three-pointer but the Hawks quickly answered with the next 12 points to regain a comfortable buffer.
Christy led the Lutes with 14 points and eight rebounds while Lester added 10 points and Kyle Sawtell secured seven rebounds. PLU's reserves scored 42 of the team's 69 points while owning a 17-5 edge in second chance opportunities.
PLU took 75 shots during the contest, hitting 37.3 percent (28-for-75) while the Scarlet Hawks shot at a 50 percent clip (29-for-58).
"We have got to learn to be more patient when we are not scoring and defend better," said Head Coach Steve Dickerson. "Our make up in adverse situations needs to improve. When you get 17 more shots than the other team you should win and today we didn't."
The Lutes return to action tomorrow at 3 p.m., facing host University of California Santa Cruz.