McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Nick Schulten’s 3-pointer with six seconds remaining in regulation proved to be enough for Warner Pacific to escape with a 78-77 non-conference win over Linfield Saturday night at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
With the win Warner Pacific snaps a two-game skid while improving to 6-5 on the season. A night after one of their best efforts of the season against Simpson University, Linfield falls to 4-3 on the year.
Schulten’s timely 3-pointer in the final seconds came at an unlikely time, considering Schulten had made just 2-of-13 shots from behind the arc prior to his game-winner. As a team the Knights made just 3-of-25 3-pointers before the final attempt.
The loss came as a crushing blow to a Linfield squad that held a comfortable 70-57 lead with just 4:38 remaining. A 21-7 Warner Pacific run over the final 4:38 dashed the Wildcats’ chances of their second win in as many nights.
After a Zach Anderson jumper gave the ‘Cats their 13-point lead, things began to unravel, as the Knights rallied for 10-straight points in less than a minute. Webster Moreland capped of the run with a 3-pointer at the 3:52 mark, trimming the Linfield lead to 70-67.
The Wildcats answered back with four of the next five points, all of which coming on free throws from Anderson and K.C. Wiser. After a Warner Pacific basket trimmed the deficit to four, Shultens cut the deficit to 74-73 on a 3-pointer with 1:35 remaining.
Leading by one, Linfield turned the ball back over to Warner Pacific just seconds after Shultens’ 3-pointer. Sean Gaines made the Wildcats pay, nailing a jumper at the 1:22 mark.
The Wildcats regained the lead on a basket from Wiser with 58 seconds to play. On the ensuing possession, the Knights failed to score on a 3-point attempt. Forced to foul, Warner Pacific sent Linfield forward Zach Meikle to the line with 15 seconds remaining. After missing the first attempt, Meikle put the ‘Cats up 77-75 with a make on the second foul shot.
With the door left open, Schultens knocked down his second 3-pointer in the final 1:35, this one a game-winner.
The Knights found a way to win a game in which they didn’t lead until the 1:22 mark of the second half, while erasing a 10-point halftime deficit in the process.
Linfield dominated the game in every statistical category except for turnovers. Despite outshooting and outrebounding the Knights, the Wildcats committed 19 costly turnovers. Warner Pacific committed just seven turnovers.
Moreland led the way for the Knights with a team-high 22 points. Schultens finished with 12, while Andre Davis added 17.
Wiser paced the Wildcats with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Anderson helped the effort with 16 points and 12 boards.
NEXT: Linfield returns to action Monday for an 8 p.m. home game against visiting Northwest Christian.
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