McMINNVILLE, Ore. - A balanced offensive attack and a key six-minute stretch during the second half propelled Pacific Lutheran to a 77-59 victory over Linfield Friday evening at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
James Conti, Andrew Earnest, Kyle MacTaggart, Victor Bull and Cameron Schilling all scored in double figures for Pacific Lutheran (9-6, 4-3 NWC). Earnest paced the group with a team-high 16 points.
After a K.C. Wiser jumper at the 14:11 mark of the second half cut the Pacific Lutheran lead to 39-38, the Lutes raced off a 21-6 run. MacTaggart started the spurt with back-to-back baskets, before a layup from Bull pushed the lead out to 46-38 with 12:28 remaining.
Linfield (7-9, 3-4 NWC) trimmed the lead back down to six with just over 10 minutes remaining. From there it was all Pacific Lutheran. Aided by a Linfield technical foul, the Lutes rolled off the next 10 points. A Kole Podowicz free throw with just less than eight minutes remaining extended the lead to 60-44.
Linfield, who had just one player score in double figures, never posed a threat the rest of the way.
The Lutes shot a blistering 65.5 percent during the second half, carving up the Wildcats for 47 points over the final 20 minutes.
Free throws and rebounding proved to be key factors in the game’s outcome. Pacific Lutheran knocked down 12-of-13 shots from the charity stripe, while Linfield made just 5-of-9 attempts. The Lutes added 10 offensive
rebounds in the win.
Wiser was the lone Linfield player in double figures with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting.
During the first half the Wildcats shot 54.2 percent while the Lutes managed a 37.9 percent output. Despite the shooting disparity, Pacific Lutheran took a 30-29 lead into halftime thanks to a 17-12 rebounding edge.
The Lutes jumped out to an early 13-6 lead on a three-point play from James Conti at the 13:40 mark of the first half. Eight-straight points from the ‘Cats gave Linfield its first lead of the evening with just over 10 minutes gone by.
The two clubs traded punches over the ensuing 10 minutes, with neither team taking a lead of more than three. Wiser was unstoppable during the first half, scoring 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
NEXT: Linfield returns to action Saturday when the ‘Cats visit NWC rival George Fox at 8 p.m.
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