Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
TACOMA, Wash. - An attitude change from the Pacific Lutheran University men's basketball team in the second half of Tuesday's non-conference contest against Multnomah University helped the Lutes roar past the Lions 78-68 in Olson Gymnasium.
PLU (3-2) struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first half. The team shot 35.9 percent (14-for-39) from the floor, earning just four free throw attempts in the half. With the slow performance, PLU carried a 35-34 lead into halftime over Mutlnomah (2-5) in a volitile 20 minutes that saw 10 lead changes and five ties. The Lutes were more much more aggressive in the second half, going 16-for-32 from the field (50 percent). The team accumulated 13 free-throw tries, making good on nine of them.
"I implored them to go strong to the baskets," head coach Chad Murray said. "We had 12 offensive rebounds in the first half, but only seven second-chance points. I think we were able to be mentally and physically tougher in the second half and it helped us win the game."
Zac Webb led the aggressive play of the Lutes in the second half. Webb scored 12 of his 14 points and pulled down eight of his 11 rebounds in the second half. The junior accumulated his second career double-double.
"We made adjustments at halftime, we needed to get in the lane more. That was the mentality I wanted to play with," Webb said. "Coach Murray has been telling me be productive, rebound hard, and take what the defense gives me."
The trend was similar for senior Joshua Baird. Baird scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half. He also pulled down nine rebounds and led the team with five assists. Leighton Kingma was efficient, going six-for-nine from the field, scoring 15 points.
Dylan Foreman also had nine rebounds while scoring six points. Dylan DeWalt was stellar on the boards for the Lutes, pulling down 10. DeWalt added six points. PLU owned the glass on Tuesday night, owning a 61-35 rebounding edge, inlcuding a 16-8 edge on the offensive glass.
"We have to take what we've learned in these first five games and try to apply it as best we can," Murray said. "Tonight we were able to overcome a defense we haven't seen before, without practicing for it beforehand. We're only going to get a couple days to prepare for Whitman and Whitworth. All I want to see if growth."
The Lutes host No. 1 ranked Whitman College on Friday night at 8 p.m. Then on Saturday, the team plays 13th-ranked Whitworth University at 6 p.m. in Olson Gymnasium.