Relying on the 3-pointer is a risky proposition – but it paid off for the Pacific Lutheran University men in the second half Friday night.
Arvid Isaksen and Daniel Landram got it started with back-to-back 3-pointers to erase a Linfield lead, and Brandon Lester buried the game-clincher late as PLU beat the Wildcats, 62-53, at Olson Auditorium in Parkland.
The Lutes (5-11, 2-5 in Northwest Conference) sent Linfield to its 12th consecutive loss. They also snapped their own five-game skid.
Isaksen and Landram drilled 3-pointers in almost the same spot in the right corner to trigger a 10-0 Lutes’ run that gave the hosts a 38-30 lead.
The Wildcats (2-14, 0-7) trimmed it to 53-49 before Lester sank his final 3-pointer in the left corner with 1:39 to go.
“We’ve had so many of these last 4-minute deals where we don’t make a shot, don’t make a stop. And it snowballs,” PLU coach Steve Dickerson said. “And (Lester’s shot), you need someone to do that.”
PLU was down two starters – forward Kevin McCrossin (elbow) and center Bryce Miller (head) – to injury.
Puget Sound 68, at Pacific 62: The Loggers (9-7, 5-2 in NWC) won their third game in a row, breaking out to a big lead in the first half and cruising in Forest Grove, Ore.
Nick Holden led UPS with 18 points and nine rebounds, hitting all six field goal attempts.
Linfield 82, PLU 60: First-year coach Jennifer Childress knew when she took the job, she’d experience her share of highs and lows.
The Lutes (6-10, 2-5 in NWC) showed her the bottom floor Friday in getting dismantled by a Linfield team (6-10, 2-5) that won its first road game this season.
Guard Taylor Solomon, a sweet-shooting left-hander for Linfield, buried shots from all over, tallying a game-high 27 points, including four 3-pointers. Kaely Maltman added 21. The Wildcats shot 54.5 percent from the floor (30 of 55).
In fact, Solomon and Maltman combined for nearly as many made field goals (18) as the entire PLU team (20).
“We took a lot of things for granted tonight, such as looking at Linfield’s record and thinking that this is going to be a little easier than it was,” Childress said. “We were kind of on coast mode. Our defensive intensity was super flat.”
Trailing 25-16 with 7:23 remaining in the first half, PLU scored five consecutive points. But Solomon had a late stretch in which she scored baskets on four consecutive possessions as Linfield grabbed a 43-33 halftime lead.
And the Wildcats opened the second half making seven of their first eight shots, capped by Quincey Gibson’s four-point play, to build a 61-42 lead at the 13:34 mark.
UPS 76, at Pacific 60: Katy Ainslie led four players in double figures with 15 points, and the Loggers (11-5, 4-3) won their third game in a row in Forest Grove, Ore.
After Pacific tied it at 45-45 early in the second half, the Loggers put the game away with a 19-1 run over the next nine minutes.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442