Hot Shooting, Tight Defense Leads Boxers To Win over Linfield
Box Score | Bowser's Tip-In Dunk (Video)
FOREST GROVE – Another hot night of shooting and one of the better defensive efforts of the season led Pacific to their second straight win Saturday night as the Boxers knocked off Linfield, 69-53, in Northwest Conference men's basketball action at the Stoller Center.
The Boxers (8-5, 2-2 NWC) finished the night shooting 54.2 percent from the field (26-48) and was especially potent from the three-point line, hitting 9 of 21. Pacific also made the most of a limited number of chances from the free throw line, connecting on 8 of 11 from the stripe.
The offensive effort complemented one of the best defensive performances that the Boxers have posted this season. Pacific limited the Wildcats (3-12, 1-4 NWC) to 38.6 percent from the field (17-44) and just 1 of 10 from three-point range. Andrew Batiuk, who entered the night leading the NWC in scoring and rebounding, was limited to seven points and three rebounds on 3 of 9 from the field.
Danny Brakebush (Fr., Portland, Ore.) led Pacific for the second straight night, once again setting a torrid pace from three-point range. The freshman finished with a game-high 17 points on 6 of 9 from the field, including five from long range. Dustin Bowser (Sr., Bellingham, Wash.) came off the bench for his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds to go along with three assists and two blocks. Bowser also provided for the highlight of the night when he slammed home Mitch Wettig's (So., Bend, Ore.) missed lay-in early in the second half.
Brandon Harris paced Linfield with 11 points while Jordan Russell came off the bench to score 10. Linfield forced Pacific into 12 turnovers, but Pacific won the rebounding battle 30-21 and posted more offensive boards (13) than the Wildcats had defensive rebounds (11).
An early 4-0 lead for the Wildcats off the opening tip was to be short lived as the Boxers charged back to take their first lead on Charles Mosley's (Sr., Hillsboro, Ore.) jumper at the 16:07 mark. The game was tied 11-11 with 12:32 left when Bowser's three-point play sparked a 14-1 run over the next five minutes. The surge culminated on Cameron Hayes' (Jr., Milton, Wash.) lay-in with 7:16 left that gave the Boxers a 25-13 lead. Linfield made one of just three shot attempts during the stretch and committed four turnovers.
Linfield reduced the lead to single digits twice in the final seven minutes and were within seven points with a minute left, but Brakebush's third three-pointer of the half with 29 seconds left allowed the Boxers a 34-24 halftime lead.
Pacific continued to surge in the second half, building an 18-point lead three minutes into the stanza on Brakebush's fifth trey of the night. The Wildcats managed to reduce their deficit to 13 points twice, the last coming on pair of Russell free throws with 11:32 left that made it a 52-39 lead. The Boxers kicked the advantage back to 17 points on Hayes' lay-in with 8:14 left as Linfield would come no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Pacific returns to the road on Tuesday, traveling to Lewis & Clark before returning home to host Puget Sound on Saturday. Tip-off for both games is scheduled for 8 p.m. A live audio webcast of both games and a live video webcast of Saturday's contest will be available at goboxers.com. Linfield takes the eastern Washington road trip next weekend, playing at Whitman on Friday and Whitworth on Saturday.