The University of Puget Sound men’s basketball team kept the lead for most of the game, but still needed overtime to defeat George Fox University 115-112 on Friday night at Memorial Fieldhouse.
The win clinches a berth in the Northwest Conference tournament.
The Loggers (14-10, 10-5 NWC) led by double-digits just once as the game remained tight throughout. Puget Sound led 91-83 with a little more than a minute remaining, but weren’t able to close it out in regulation after a late barrage of 3-pointers rallied the Bruins (15-9, 8-7). Spencer Bolte connected from deep with 23.7 seconds to play to even the game at 96-all and force overtime.
Bolte led all scorers, finishing the game with 37 points on 12 of 21 shooting. He made 6 of 8 3-pointers.
But a three-point play from Dan Cheledinas put Puget Sound back in the lead to open the OT period. The Loggers slowly built a six-point cushion, 107-101.
Puget Sound converted its final 10 free throws to hold George Fox at bay and clinch the postseason berth.
Pacific Lutheran 77, at Willamette 71 (OT): Brandon Lester led the Lutes (8-16, 5-10 NWC) with 22 points, but it was Seth Anderson who gave Pacific Lutheran a lift when it need it, scoring six of his 20 points in overtime to defeat the Bearcats (3-21, 1-14).
George Fox 74, at Puget Sound 61: Amanda Forshay tied a career high with 27 points, but a second-half rally fell short as the Loggers lost to the Bruins.
Trailing 41-25 at halftime, Puget Sound (15-9, 8-7 Northwest Conference) mounted a frenzied comeback in the second half.
Katy Ainslie scored eight consecutive points as part of a 16-0 run by the Loggers to even the game at 49-all with a little more than 10 minutes remaining.
“I don’t think we were very composed in the first half. We had too many turnovers,” Puget Sound head coach Loree Payne said. “You can’t have 22 turnovers against a good team like this and expect to come out successful.”
A quick 6-0 run from George Fox (21-3, 12-3) gave the Bruins a 56-49 lead and a comfortable cushion they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Loggers were held scoreless for the final 4 minutes, 19 seconds of the game as the Bruins closed with an 11-0 run to earn the victory.
At Willamette 72, PLU 53: Five players scored in double figures, led by 16 points apiece from Julia Brand and Jojo DeLong, and the Bearcats (4-20, 2-13 NWC) sent the Lutes (7-17, 3-12) to their seventh consecutive loss.