Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. - The Pacific Lutheran University men's basketball team fell victim to an extended scoring drought in the latter part of the opening half, sabotaging the Lutes return to Northwest Conference play, stumbling 72-59 to host Linfield College on Friday night.
The Lutes (3-8, 0-3 NWC) owned a 20-19 lead with 7:20 remaining in the opening stanza after Leighton Kingma buried a three-pointer. The host Wildcats (9-3, 3-1 NWC) would answer with a 19-2 run to close out the rest of the half, enjoying a comfortable 38-22 buffer at the halftime break.
"I thought we hung tough defensively tonight and did some good things," said Head Coach Chad Murray. "We just had a really tough time scoring at the end of the first half that caused a big half time deficit."
Pacific Lutheran outscored Linfield 37-34 in the second half but the damage was already done as the Wildcats held on for the win inside Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Dylan Foreman led the offense with nine points while also securing four rebounds. Markus Glenn tallied eight points while Zac Webb and Kelton Williams both contributed seven. Kingma secured five rebounds and four blocks in addition to five points.
Three Wildcats ended the night in double figures with Jordan Clark leading the way with 12 points.
PLU finished the contest shooting 47.8 percent from the field (22-for-46), including hitting 57.1 percent of shots (12-for-21) in the final 20 minutes but was outmuscled on the boards with Linfield enjoying a 33-20 rebounding edge.
"We didn't shoot the three well at all and they handled us on the glass and that was the difference in the game. Our defense has given us opportunities to stay in games recently and we continue to search for some sort of lineup combination that will work more effectively on offense."
The Lutes close their opening NWC road swing tomorrow afternoon, facing George Fox University at 6 p.m.