After an unexpected 0-2 start to Northwest Conference play in December, coach Steve Dickerson had to hand out a little perspective to his Pacific Lutheran University men’s basketball team.
“Expectations are great … but real pressure is on a guy who loses his job,” Dickerson said. “You guys are supposed to have fun.”
In other words, loosen up.
And the Lutes did just that, getting a career-high 31 points from Jared Christy, and PLU throttled George Fox, 92-75, on Friday night at Olson Auditorium in Parkland.
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Brandon Lester added 26 points, and Kyle Sawtell chipped in all of his 13 points in the second half.
PLU dominated the interior with 50 points in the paint, led by Christy, a 6-foot-6 junior.
“He was a beast,” Dickerson said. “I don’t know any other way to put it.”
At Puget Sound 71, Willamette 69 (OT): Easton Driessen poured in a career-high 25 points, with nine points coming in the extra session, and the Loggers survived at Memorial Fieldhouse.
Driessen’s two free throws with 15 seconds to go gave UPS a 70-65 lead. He added another one 10 seconds later to close out the Bearcats.
At No. 18 UPS 95, Willamette 82: Six Loggers scored in double figures, led by Samone Jackson’s game-high 20 points, and UPS tallied a season-high in points against the Bearcats at Memorial Fieldhouse.
After Willamette cut it to 75-71 on two Ashley Evans free throws with 4:49 to go, the Loggers went on a 10-3 run over the next 2½ minutes, capped by Elizabeth Prewitt’s layup, to put it away.
George Fox 68, at PLU 54: Kimberly Frost scored 19 points for the Bruins, who needed a big second-half spurt to put away the Lutes at Olson Auditorium.
Samantha Kelleight’s 3-pointer for PLU tied the game at 42-42 late in the third quarter, but George Fox scored the next five points to close the quarter.
And the Bruins scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, capped by two Frost free throws, to grab a 53-43 lead with 8:22 to go.
Kelleigh and Lacey Nicholson paced the Lutes with 17 points apiece.