Lutes Make Big Plays, Beat Puget Sound, 71-59

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PARKLAND - Pacific Lutheran defeated the Puget Sound Loggers on the Olson Auditorium hardwood for the first time since January 24, 2003, taking a 71-59 decision Tuesday night over the Loggers in Northwest Conference men's basketball action.

With the victory, their sixth in the last seven games, the Lutes (8-5 overall) moved into third place in the conference standing with a 3-2 record. The loss dropped the Loggers (5-9 overall) to 2-3 in the NWC.

The last time that PLU beat the Loggers at home was by a 49-46 score seven seasons ago, and on this occasion the Lutes made some big plays down the stretch to seal the win.

The Loggers rallied from a 43-28 deficit behind some deadly long-range shooting, including a pair of long bombs by Ryan Rogers, to take a 48-47 lead when Caleb Gauff hit a trey with 10:41 left.

The Lutes regained the lead at 51-50 and then scored six unanswered points, four by Kai Hoyt, to take a 57-50 advantage with 6:02 on the clock. The Loggers never got closer than four points the rest of the way. Holding onto a five-point lead, the Lutes picked up a key offensive rebound and layup by Kyle MacTaggart with 1:49 left to go up by seven points. Curtis Trondsen, who led the Lutes with 16 points, then hit a dagger three-point shot to put the Lutes on top 63-55 with one minute remaining.

PLU iced the game at the foul line with MacTaggart, Victor Bull, James Conti and Andrew Earnest all hit a pair.

Trondsen came off the bench to shoot 7-for-13, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, on the way to his game-high 16 points. In addition to MacTaggart's 14 points, Conti added 10, four assists and three steals. Bull was just that on the boards, tying for game high honors with nine. Earnest had a strong game off the bench with nine points, six rebounds and no turnovers in 29 minutes.

Rogers cashed on on 5-for-6 three-point shooting to lead his team with 15 points, followed by Anthony Gittens and Edrick Egberuare with 10 apiece. Egbruare led his team with nine rebounds and four assists.

The Lutes return to action at 8 p.m. Friday when they host the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in Olson Auditorium.

- PLU -