McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Colin Wester knocked down a game-high 29 points and the Pacific Boxers beat up Linfield 85-60 in a Northwest Conference matchup Friday night in Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Wester, who was coming off a 25-point performance on Tuesday against Willamette, set a new season high, topping his prior mark of 28. Charles Mosley added 20 for the Boxers, and Dustin Bowser and Daniel Zitani grabbed six rebounds each.
Brandon Harris and Nick Cantonwine (Jr., Salem, Ore.) each contributed 15 points for the Wildcats, who fell to 3-19 on the season with the loss, including 2-11 in NWC play. On the game, the ‘Cats were outrebounded 39-22, and shot 42 percent from the field, compared to the Boxers’ 55 percent clip.
Harris got the scoring started for Linfield, completing a three-point play in the opening minute.
Momentum swung back-and-forth early on, and the teams battled to a 9-9 deadlock four minutes into the game. The Boxers began a 4-0 run and pulled out in front 13-9. The ‘Cats kept pace through the middle of the first, and a three from Harris cut the deficit to 21-18 with 10 minutes to play in the half.
Cody Jurgens (Soph., Hillsboro, Ore.) followed suit a minute later with a 3-point bucket of his own, and Pacific coach Tim Cleary burned the team’s first timeout of the game. A pair of free throws from Cantonwine knotted the score at 25 apiece with eight minutes to go.
A mid-range jumper from Jordan Russell handed the ‘Cats the lead with three minutes until the break. The lead changed hands four times in the final two minutes, and the ‘Cats held the upper hand at the break, 37-36.
Wester led all scorers in the first with 15, while Zitani grabbed six boards for the Boxers. Coming into the game, the senior guard ranked fifth in the conference in points per game (14.9). Harris dropped 11 for the ‘Cats in the first, who were outrebounded 19-16.
The Boxers (13-9, 7-6 NWC) opened up the second with a 7-0 run, pushing Wildcats head coach Larry Doty to call timeout just three minutes into the half.
Linfield struggled to cut into the deficit, as a three and a layup from Wester put Pacific up 50-39, its largest lead of the night. The Boxers continued to dominate underneath, winning battles inside and getting plenty of opportunities from the free throw line.
Four straight points from Chris Dirks (Jr., Hood River, Ore.) brought the spread back down into single digits, as the Boxers sat in front 54-45 with 11:03 left. Linfield did not get any closer, however, as Pacific kept its foot on the gas moving into the closing minutes of play.
Linfield failed to make a dent in Pacific’s 10-point lead down the stretch, and the Boxers comfortably closed out the game to earn the win.
NOTE: A false fire alarm delayed play for approximately 12 minutes with 3:29 left in the first.
NEXT UP: Linfield takes on Puget Sound Saturday in Tacoma, Wash. The ‘Cats and Loggers are set to tip off at 8 p.m., following the women’s game.
Earns seven of his 15 points at the charity stripe
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