Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A milestone was reached by senior Dylan Foreman on Sunday afternoon, but it wasn't enough as the Pacific Lutheran University men's basketball team was unable to overcome a slow start, falling 74-52 to the University of California-Santa Cruz to close out the Mission Inn Thanksgiving Classic.
Entering Sunday's game, Foreman was seven points shy of reaching 1,000 career points. The senior finished with eight, eclipsing the achievement by a point, becoming the 26th Lute to do so and the first since Brandon Lester during the 2015-2016 season.
"It feels pretty awesome," Foreman said. "Would have been more fun if we got a win today. I've been extremely fortunate to play significant minutes since I came to PLU. I've been extremely blessed to have coaches who have believed and trusted my skill level and I've been mostly incredibly lucky to have teammates who I enjoy being around while also having a great unselfish attitude."
There was nothing sluggish about the UC Santa Cruz offense in the first half of Sunday's contest as they shot 55.6 percent (15-for-27) in the opening 20 minutes. The strong first half shooting performance helped the Banana Slugs (3-2) carry a 45-28 lead over PLU into halftime. The Lutes (2-2) lagged offensively, shooting just 35 percent (21-for-60) from the field for the game. No player from PLU scored in double figures.
"They were very physical and we didn't not handle that well at all," Head Coach Chad Murray said. "They took us out of our offense and really dictated the shots we were getting. We adjusted well at the beginning of the second half but couldn't sustain it."
Even with the offensive struggles, PLU featured a balanced attack. Sean McLaughlin and Dylan DeWalt lead the offense with nine points each. McLaughlin yanked down five rebounds, also a team high. Markus Glen scored six points and dished out four assists. Leighton Kingma scored five points.
"I think our guys are beginning to understand just how difficult it is to be consistent and execute what we want to do on both ends of the floor," Murray said. "They know that this is a long term process and we need to stick together in order for it to work out how we want it to."
The Lutes have one final tune-up on Tuesday before opening Northwest Conference play on Friday. PLU welcomes Multnomah University to Olson Gymnasium on Tuesday with tipoff set for 7 p.m.