TACOMA, Wash. – Kaleb Shelton-Johnson was a force inside and Derek Jobe was an assassin from the outside, helping Puget Sound cruise past Linfield 72-55 Friday night inside noisy Memorial Fieldhouse.
Using its trademark in-your-face defense, Puget Sound (12-4, 4-3 NWC) also forced 17 Linfield turnovers to keep the Wildcats (3-13, 1-6) on their heels throughout the contest. UPS converted 17 points off turnovers to Linfield’s six and also outscored the visitors 28-12 in the paint.
Shelton-Johnson shared top scoring honors with Linfield’s Zach Anderson, both netting 18 points. Shelton-Johnson was nearly perfect from the field, hitting 8-of-9 attempts. Anderson, meanwhile, hit 5-for-11 shots.
The Loggers came out swinging in the first half, scoring the game’s first seven points and eventually racing to a 10-point lead, 22-12, midway through the period. Shelton-Johnson hit a jumper with 4:32 to play in the half that gave the hosts a 12-point cushion. UPS, behind Shelton’s 5-of-5 shooting and 11 points, led 41-30 at intermission.
Anderson was Linfield’s primary weapon in the first half, scoring 16 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. But the NWC’s leading scorer was limited to zero field goals and just two points after the break.
The Loggers kept their foot on the accelerator in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 19-9 in the first five minutes. It was no contest after that as the Loggers extended their lead to as many as 25 points.
COMING UP: Linfield hosts Yamhill County rival George Fox Saturday night in the first meeting of the season between the two NWC rivals. Tipoff is set for 8 o’clock with live internet play-by-play beginning at approximately 7:50.
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