- Back to Sports News | Sports Schedule
TACOMA, Wash. – Struggling to make baskets all night, the Linfield Wildcats faded in the second half on the way to a 59-50 Northwest Conference defeat to the Puget Sound Loggers Saturday night in Memorial Fieldhouse.
Linfield attempted five more shots than UPS yet converted five fewer hoops. A 5-for-28 output from 3-point range by the ‘Cats sealed their fate in a battle of rebuilding NWC programs.
Wildcats guard Vinnie Toor scored a team-high 16 points off the bench while center Chris Dirks added 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot.
In 24 minutes, Toor went 4-for-10 from the field, including three of the Wildcats' five 3-pointers.
Through a nip-and-tuck first half, UPS clung to a 23-22 advantage at the break. Linfield shot a cool 30 percent from the field and was outrebounded by a 24-17 margin through the game's first 20 minutes.
The Wildcats kept the game close with tight ball possession and sound contributions from the bench. The Linfield reserves outscored their UPS counterparts 11-5 in the first half and the ‘Cats accounted for just three turnovers in the half on the way to a season-low five miscues for the game. UPS coughed up the ball eight times in the first half alone.
Fueled by five points each from Dan Cheledinas and Nick Holden, the Loggers launched an 11-3 run to extend their lead to double digits, 39-28, eight minutes into the second period. Cheledinas finished with a game-high 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
A pair of layups by Dirks and a 3-point play from Kevin Hurley helped Linfield draw to 41-37 with 6:29 to play. Toor's 3-point bucket with 2:34 showing on the clock made it a three-point contest. The Loggers, however, outscored the ‘Cats 11-5 the rest of the way, with six of those points coming by way of the free throw line.
The Wildcats forced 12 turnovers in the contest, leading to 13 points. UPS controlled the backboards, sweeping up 43 missed shots to the Wildcats' 31. Six Loggers managed at least five rebounds in the game.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield owns just four wins over UPS in 26 visits to Memorial Fieldhouse. . . 10 seasons ago, the Wildcats and Loggers staged played the highest-scoring game in the basketball series that dates to 1960. . . UPS prevailed 114-112 in overtime on Feb. 28, 2004 in Tacoma. . . Wildcats reserve forward Chris Crowell made just his second appearance in a game this winter, contributing three points and two rebounds in eight minutes of action. . . Dirks reached double figures in scoring for the third straight game. . . freshman Ryan Potter struggled through an 0-for-10 shooting performance versus UPS, part of an 0-for-19 slump that began against Bridgewater State.
NEXT: Linfield visits Willamette Friday night in another NWC doubleheader. Tipoff inside the WU's Cone Fieldhouse is 8 p.m. with live internet coverage starting at 6 p.m.