Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
TACOMA, Wash. - The Pacific Lutheran University men's basketball team showed no ill effects from its extended layoff, returning to Olson Gymnasium on Friday night with a dominating 92-75 victory over Northwest Conference rival George Fox University as Jared Christy and Brandon Lester combined for 57 points.
Christy poured on a career-high 31 points while netting 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the 2016-2017 campaign while Leser added 26 points in PLU's first game after a two-week hiatus.
The Lutes (6-6, 1-2 NWC) were on fire from the onset, collecting 17 of the opening 21 points and led wire-to-wire in the blowout win, sending the Bruins (5-8, 3-1 NWC) their first defeat of the conference slate.
After the inital lead, PLU maintained at least a nine-point cushion the entire first half, enjoying a 43-28 lead at the halftime intermission. George Fox whittled the deficit down to just eight with 14:22 left in the game but PLU answered with an 24-3 run over the next five minutes to put the game out of reach. Christy sparked the Lute scoring binge with a three-point play to extend the lead back into double digits.
Christy finished 11-for-19 from the field while hitting nine of his 11 free throw attempts. The junior additionally dished out five assists. Kyle Sawtell was the third Lute in double figures, ending the contest with 13 points and six rebounds.
Thomas Rico led GFU with 19 points while JJ Lacey added 15.
Pacific Lutheran dominated inside, enjoying a 52-32 rebounding edge and a 20-7 advantage in offensive boards. The Lutes enjoyed a 50-22 lead in points in the paint and a 21-7 edge in second chance opportunities while hitting 43.8 percent (32-for-73) of their shots in the game.
PLU returns to action tomorrow evening, hosting Willamette University at 6 p.m.