NEWBERG, Ore. - K.C. Wiser scored a game-high 33 points on 11-of-22 shooting and Linfield benefitted from missed free throw opportunities by George Fox on its way to a thrilling 80-76 win Saturday evening at the Wheeler Sports Center.
In a game in which it shot 51 percent from the floor, Linfield (8-9, 4-4 NWC) never trailed over the final 17 minutes of play. George Fox (4-13, 2-6 NWC) had multiple opportunities to draw even but missed clutch free throws throughout the game, as the Bruins posted a 20-of-39 mark from the charity stripe.
After trailing by six points early on the Wildcats battled back, pushing their lead out to 36-29 on a Sergio Rosario layup with 1:28 remaining in the first half.
The Bruins stayed close, scoring the final four points of the half. Coming out of the break George Fox quickly took hold of a 41-38 advantage on a Mike Taylor layup at the 17:27 mark.
Zach Anderson answered Taylor’s score with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. Anderson’s shot jump-started a 12-0 Linfield run that left the Wildcats with a 51-40 lead with 14:06 remaining. Leading the charge was Anderson, who scored eight of his 13 points during the stretch.
After seeing the lead evaporate over the next four minutes, Linfield was forced to fight off another George Fox rally. With the scored tied at 56 with 10:24 remaining, the Wildcats raced off a 15-3 run, taking a 71-59 lead on a Wiser 3-pointer with 5:13 left on the clock.
The Bruins cut the deficit back down to two points on two separate occasions during the final 1:30. Unfortunately for George Fox, Linfield took care of business at the foul line, knocking down 7-of-8 attempts from the line.
The ‘Cats were great from the line when it mattered most, knocking down 17-of-22 attempts from the free throw line.
A night after Wiser was the only Wildcat player in double figures, the ‘Cats got key contributions from Anderson and David Lee. Lee finished with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Rich Smith paced George Fox with 22 points in the loss.
NEXT: Linfield returns to action Friday for an 8 p.m. contest against host Whitworth.
23.9 points-per-game average tops Northwest Conference
George Fox nets 84-69 victory in fast-paced NWC opener
'Cats top Beavers, fall to Banana Slugs
Balanced scoring nets first win for Rosenberg's Wildcats
Panthers prevail, spoil Wildcats' opener
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128