McMINNVILLE, Ore. - A night after being pushed into two overtimes periods against Pacific, Linfield battled back from a second-half deficit to edge Puget Sound 64-61 in overtime Saturday evening at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
The Wildcats held a high-powered Loggers offense to 37.9 percent shooting, including an 18.8 percent output from beyond the arc. On the offensive side of the floor Linfield (7-8, 3-3 NWC) shot at a 51.2 percent clip.
After playing from behind nearly the entire game, the Wildcats finally broke even on a Sergio Rosario layup at the 9:25 mark of the second half. Rosario’s score tied the game at 45, setting up a thrilling finish to regulation.
Puget Sound (5-10, 2-4 NWC) answered the Linfield run with a spurt of its own, building the lead to 56-47 on an Anthony Gittens layup with 3:42 remaining. The momentum would be short-lived, as Linfield scored the next six points, including two on a technical foul.
Trailing by three with under a minute to play, the ‘Cats turned to Cory Hendryx (Sr., Scappoose, Ore.). The Wildcats freshman guard, who had played in just five games coming into the night, tied the game at 58 on a clutch 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining.
In what would become a defensive struggle throughout the overtime period, Linfield’s fortune turned with 49 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 61.
K.C. Wiser, who delivered clutch shot after clutch shot on Friday night, came through with another timely score. Wiser’s floater in the lane with 49 seconds remaining put the Wildcats up 63-61. Originally whistled for an offensive foul, Wiser’s shot counted after it was ruled that the ball left his hand prior to the foul.
Trailing by two, the Loggers missed the ensuing two free throws. With the ball and needing a score to ice the game, a 3-pointer from Rosario rimmed out. Wiser hauled down the offensive rebound before being fouled with 11 seconds remaining.
The senior buried the second of two free throws, giving the ‘Cats a 64-61 advantage. The Loggers got a good look on the other end, but a Kaleb Shelton 3-pointer missed short. A battle for the loose ball allowed time to expire.
After being held to just four points in the first half, Wiser finished with a team-high 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Rosario added 14 points, while Hendryx scored seven points in 20 minutes of action.
Gittens paced the Loggers with a game-high 17 points.
After falling behind 8-2 to start the game, Puget Sounds controlled the remainder of the first half. Trailing 15-13 at the 9:00 mark, the Loggers rolled off a 12-5 run, taking a 25-20 lead on an Erik Evans 3-pointer with 3:10 remaining.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to one before the Loggers scored the final five points of the half. Aaron Edwards’ basket with four seconds on the clock sent Puget Sound into the break with a 32-26 lead.
Puget Sound took advantage of nine offensive rebounds and nine Linfield turnovers during the first half.
NEXT: Linfield returns home Friday for an 8 p.m. game against Pacific Lutheran.
Scores seven points off the bench
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128