PARKLAND, Wash. - Wisconsin-River Falls used a balanced scoring attack and made several big plays down the stretch Friday night to garner a 68-59 men's basketball win over Pacific Lutheran at the PLU Thanksgiving Classic in Olson Auditorium.
The Falcons improve to 4-1 with the victory while the Lutes are now 2-1 this season.
With the score tied at 45-45 with 8:34 left, the visitors went on a 11-2 run, spearheaded by Brian Kimble, to take command of the game. Kimble hit a three-point shot to start the surge and then found Wade Guerin for a layup. Kimble followed with a steal, which led to another layup by Guerin. After a jumper by PLU's James Conti made it a 52-47 game, Kimble dished to Shane Manor for an open jumper, and then he capped the run with an impressive drive and dunk along the right baseline.
River Falls was eventually able to take a 61-50 lead on Ollie White's layup with 4:06 remaining, and the Lutes got only as close as six points on a couple of occasions down the stretch.
The first half ended with four ties and four lead changes, with PLU taking its biggest lead of the game at 21-15 on Cameron Reister's three-point bucket with 5:49 left in the period. River Falls eventually took a 27-23 lead in the break.
The Lutes led only twice in the second half, the second at 44-43 on Kai Hoyt's free throw with 9:33 remaining. That's when Kimble took over the game and led the visitors to the win.
Manor and Guerin both scored 14 points to lead the Falcons, while Aaron Anderson and Ollie White both chipped in with 13 points. Kimble had a great overall floor game with 10 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Guerin led all players with 11 boards, nine on the defensive end.
For the Lutes, Hoyt was the leading scorer and rebounder with 15 and seven, respectively, while Drew Earnest added 13 points and Conti chipped in with 11.
The Lutes shot just 37 percent from the field on 20-for-54 accuracy, while the Falcons were at 58 percent on 23-for-40. River Falls also enjoyed a slight 32-30 advantage on the boards.
Puget Sound 88, Evergreen State 76
In the opening game of the PLU Thanksgiving Classic, Puget Sound got 12 points and 12 rebounds from Anthony Gittens in an 88-76 victory over Evergreen State. The winning Loggers had a total of six players in double figures, led by Edric Egberuare with 18.
Evergreen State's Marice Tolliver was the player of the game with 34 points, 17 rebounds and four steals.
The PLU Thanksgiving Classic concludes on Saturday afternoon with PLU playing Evergreen State at 2 p.m., followed by Puget Sound against UW-River Falls at 4 p.m.
- PLU -