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FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Danny Brakebush notched 17 points and host Pacific dominated Linfield in a decisive 69-53 Northwest Conference game Saturday night inside the Stoller Center.
With the loss, Linfield tumbled to 3-12 for the season and dropped to 2-4 in the NWC standings.
Pacific’s Dustin Bowser finished with 11 points and completed a double-double with a game-high 14 rebounds. Brakebush, Pacific’s scoring leader (16.2) sits third among conference scoring leaders behind Batiuk (21.4) and George Fox’ Sean Atkins (18.1).
Brusing forward Charles Mosley knocked in seven points, three rebounds and three assists for the Boxers.
Colin Wester, an honorable mention all-NWC pick as a junior in 2011-12, was kept relatively quiet, with just seven points on the night. The senior guard is second on the Boxers in points per game this season with 13.8. He is also leading the squad with 39 assists and his 6.2 rebounds per game are second best for Pacific.
Brandon Harris knocked down a team-high 11 points, and Andrew Batiuk was held to less than 10 points for just the second time this season. Four boards each from Forrest Paxton and Zach Meikle topped the ‘Cats in that category. Jordan Russell posted a career-high 10 points.
Two quick buckets got Linfield on the board early, as Paxton and Kevin Hurley each hit a jumper in the opening two minutes of play. Brakebush scored the Boxers’ first five points, and got Pacific back into the game early.
Pacific (8-5, 2-2 NWC) picked up four straight points from Bowser and strolled to an 11-8 lead midway through the first. A three from Cameron Hayes followed by another from Wester had the Boxers out in front 20-13 with eight minutes to play.
Another three from Brakebush followed by a layup from Hayes had Pacific up big nearing the break, 25-13. Four straight Wildcat points from Russell and Harris cut the lead to 31-24, but another three from Brakebush had the Boxers back up by 10 at the half.
Pacific outrebounded Linfield 16-10 in the first and bested the ‘Cats in terms of field goal percentage, 53.8 to 39.1. Brakebush led all scorers with 11 in the first, and Bowser had seven points and seven rebounds.
The Boxers picked up where they left off, as a jumper from Proctor and two more threes from Brakebush gave Pacific a commanding 44-26 advantage early in the second.
The game began to slip out of Linfield’s reach as Pacific built an insurmountable 15-point lead midway through the second. Linfield attempted to sneak back into the game, but consistent scoring by the Boxers prevented any kind of comeback.
The Boxers secured their lead moving into the closing minutes, and solid defense from Pacific ensured the victory.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield holds the upper hand in the series over the past decade with a 14-6 record against Pacific…the closest game in that time span was a 63-62 Wildcat victory in the Stoller Center on Jan. 24 2009…Batiuk currently sits atop the record books in career average minutes per game with 32.5…Batiuk and Harris have six double-doubles between them this season…Harris has scored in double-digits in five straight games.
COMING UP: Linfield travels to Washington next weekend to take on NWC opponents Whitman and Whitworth. The ‘Cats tip off at 8 p.m. in Walla Walla on Jan. 18, and again at the same time the following night in Spokane.