University of Puget Sound men’s basketball coach Justin Lunt does not hesitate to compare do-everything point guard Kohl Meyer to the same NBA star every time he gets a chance to.
“He’s got that in him,” Lunt said.
Meyer also had a lot of Mr. Too Nice in him as well.
Except for Tuesday night, when UPS had its back against the wall in the race to keep up in the Northwest Conference standings.
The 6-foot-3 senior had one of the best games of his career in leading the Loggers to an impressive 88-73 victory over cross-town rival Pacific Lutheran University at Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma.
Meyer finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and no turnovers in leading the charge. Teammate Carlos Mancasola had a game-high 25 points, including six 3-pointers.
The win snapped the Loggers’ three-game skid and got them feeling better about chasing down some of the teams in front of them.
“We played really well over in Eastern Washington (in losses at Whitworth and Whitman),” Lunt said. “I know it did not show up in the score, but we left the trip going, ‘You know what, we can compete here.’
“I was really proud of our guys tonight.”
UPS (10-6, 3-4 NWC) was really, really good in the biggest 2 1/2 minutes of the game at the end of the first half.
They went on a 16-0 run — and Meyer was behind most of it.
He hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key to tie the game at 35. And almost a minute later, he intercepted a cross-court pass and got loose going the other way.
He did not stop either, flushing it for a dunk.
Meyer got another steal on the opposite end and fed Jimmy Wohrer in the corner for another 3-pointer.
“That is kind of my job,” Meyer said. “We thrive off it when I penetrate. When I get it going like that, we are tough to beat.”
On the final UPS trip, Meyer charged past Kyle Sawtell in the lane, was hit hard and still converted a no-look, reverse layup. He completed the three-point play to give UPS a 46-35 lead with 59.8 seconds remaining.
“He is a stud,” PLU’s Brandon Lester said. “He can do everything.”
Lester led the Lutes (7-9, 2-5) with 25 points. Jared Christy added 17 points and 10 rebounds. It was the most points PLU has given up in a regulation game in nearly a year.
At No. 14 Puget Sound 91, Pacific Lutheran 58: A near-perfect start led to an easy victory for the Loggers, who won their eighth game in a row at Memorial Fieldhouse.
Samone Jackson led a balanced attack with 17 points. Elizabeth Prewitt added 15 points, and Caitlin Malvar and Jamie Lange chipped in with 12.
It was also UPS’s 16th consecutive victory over the Lutes in this cross-town rivalry, dating to 2008-09.
The Loggers (15-1, 7-0 NWC) started by making their first seven field-goal attempts — six on inside baskets, plus a Prewitt 3-pointer — to grab a 15-4 lead just 3:25 into the game.
“Our coaching staff has been preaching all week, ‘With rivalries, you never know what is going to happen,’ ” Loggers forward Alexis Noren said. “You don’t pay attention to records. We were going to get their best game.”
Malvar and Jackson sank back-to-back 3-pointers, and UPS was out and running, up 21-6 midway through the first quarter.
“The quick start and the energy was kind of what we feed off of,” Lange said.