Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
TACOMA, Wash. – A big run in the final minutes of the first half tilted the scales in favor of the hosts on Tuesday night with Pacific Lutheran University falling 88-73 to Northwest Conference nemesis University of Puget Sound inside Memorial Fieldhouse.
PLU (7-9, 2-5 NWC) led 35-30 with 3:36 left in the first half before the Loggers (10-6, 3-4 NWC) mounted a 16-0 run over the next few minutes, eventually taking a 46-37 lead into halftime.
The Lutes came out cold in the second half, allowing the Loggers to extend the lead to 70-50 with 9:28 left in the game. Sean McLaughlin sparked an 13-2 run, bringing the Lutes within nine with 6:10 left but the Loggers closed the door on the Lutes in the final minutes to earn the upper hand in the Battle of the South Sound.
Brandon Lester was fantastic for the Lutes, dropping 25 points. The senior was seven-for-12 shooting, hitting four three's. Lester also hit all seven of his free throw attempts while grabbing two rebounds and dishing out two assists.
Dylan Foreman got off to a fast start for the Lutes, scoring 14 of his 18 points in the first half. Foreman finished the game going seven-for-12 from the field and three-for-four from the free throw line.
"(Starting fast) feels good," Foreman said. "Especially getting back in rhythm after the last couple games shooting wise. My confidence is definitely getting back to where it should be thanks to my coaches and teammates."
Jared Christy had another double-double. Christy scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, three coming off the offensive glass while also grabbing two steals on the evening. Tyson Birrer got the start for the Lutes, adding five points, four rebounds and two blocks. Joshua Baird was good off the bench, scoring four points. He played solid defense, picking up two steals.
Puget Sound shot well at home, hitting 51.6 percent from the field while going 11-for-27 from three point range. The Loggers also had their way in the paint, pulling down 37 rebounds to the Lutes' 28. That led to a six point advantage for the Loggers in second chance points.
The Lutes continue Northwest Conference play with a trip to Linfield College on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.