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TACOMA, Wash. – Just 24 hours after Nick Cantonwine set a career mark in scoring, another unsung hero, Tim Logan, matched the feat, helping Linfield to an inspirational 77-66 Northwest Conference road victory over Puget Sound Saturday Night inside Memorial Fieldhouse.
Logan scored 13 of his team-high 17 points with a near perfect shooting line. He hit 6 of 7 shots from the field, including 3 of 3 from three-point range, and was 2 of 2 at the free throw line.
Wildcats guard Brandon Harris added 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the ‘Cats, whose 46.4 shooting percentage bettered the Loggers’ 33.3. Cantonwine contributed 14 points off the bench for the ‘Cats, who completed a season sweep of the Loggers with the win. Zach Meikle, making his 20th start of the season, grabbed eight boards for the ‘Cats.
Erin Barber (17), Nick Holden (13), Rex Holmes (12) and Derek Jobe (10) led the way in the scoring department for UPS, which was outrebounded by a wide margin, 52-36.
A layup from Harris tied the game two minutes in, after Jobe kicked off the scoring with a jumper. Neither team would score for the next 3:30, as 14 total shots were missed during the dry spell by the two teams combined.
Holden finally broke the silence with a layup, and Jobe followed suit with another bucket to put together a mini run for the Loggers. The ‘Cats responded with back-to-back buckets from Forrest Paxton and Harris to knot the score at six midway through the first.
Linfield (4-19, 3-11 NWC) substituted early and often, using 10 different players within the first 10 minutes of play. Fresh legs provided a boost to the Wildcats’ offense, as Logan and Cantonwine each contributed four points within the first 13 minutes.
A three from Cantonwine followed by a layup from Tim Pang came in the midst of a 14-0 Wildcat run that had Linfield out in front 26-15 with six minutes until the break. Jordan Russell drained a three to cap off the scoring spree and the Loggers burned a timeout just before the half.
UPS (9-14, 4-10 NWC) battled back with consecutive buckets from Jobe and Joey Mckay, and a pair of free throw shots from Aj Maw cut the score to 26-21 with 3:26 remaining. Both teams got sloppy nearing the buzzer, as four turnovers in the final two minutes led to a lack of scoring.
Holmes, the Loggers’ scoring leader, finally got on the board with 46 seconds remaining, as his shot from down town put UPS within four, 28-24. A last second jumper from Harris was off the mark and the teams headed to the locker room with the ‘Cats up four.
The teams traded layups to open the second, and Meikle knocked down two free throws to put Linfield ahead by six two minutes into the half. Harris picked Jobe’s pocket a minute later and delivered a fast break three-point play to up the spread to 37-28.
Barber completed a three-point play, to which Cantonwine responded with a three-point field goal to keep the Wildcats in control by nine. Linfield began to pull away moving into the middle part of the second, as a layup from Cody Jurgens and two free throws apiece from Cantonwine and Russell had the ‘Cats up 48-34.
UPS scratched away at Linfield’s lead moving into the closing minutes, as a layup from Holmes set the score at 58-47 with 6:31 remaining. Linfield kept calm and continued to pad its lead, as a layup from Pang with 3:19 to play pushed the score to 64-50.
A three from Eric Rauch cut the deficit to single-digits, as the ‘Cats stood in front 69-60 with 1:46 to play. Nine is as close as the Loggers would get however, as a pair of free throws from Dakotah Pine gave the ‘Cats plenty of breathing room with 30 seconds left.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield avoided its ninth consecutive loss with the victory. . . the win marked Linfield’s first victory since losing the services of Andrew Batiuk, the NWC's leading scorer, to an injury . . . the season sweep of the Loggers was the Wildcats’ first sweep of any team since Linfield achieved the feat during 2010-11 with a pair of wins over Pacific . . . Linfield won at Memorial Fieldhouse for the first time since 2009.
NEXT UP: Linfield finishes up the 2012-13 season at home the next weekend with two final NWC matchups. The ‘Cats host Whitworth on Friday at 8 p.m. and Whitman the following night at a special start time of 6 p.m.