FOREST GROVE, Ore. – It was a tale of two halves for the Boxer men's basketball team on Saturday night. In the first half Pacific shot just 35.7% from the field (10-28) while allowing the visiting Lutes of Pacific Lutheran to shoot 60.0% (14-23) and trailed at the break 32-27. The second half was a complete turnaround as the Boxer shot 53.1% (17-32) from the field including 54.6% (6-11) on threes while holding the Lutes to 45.2% (14-31) and outscoring them 50-38. Pacific won the game 77-70 and improved to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in Northwest Conference play while Pacific Lutheran dropped to 4-4 and 0-2.
Four of the Boxer starters scored in double figures in the game including Nate Olowo (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) with 17, Davis Holly (Bend, Ore.) with 16, Michael Joseph (Anchorage, Alaska) with 13 and J.B. Ewell (portland, Ore.) with 12. Olowo, who only played 10 minutes in the first half after picking up three fouls, scored 10 points and pulled down seven of his team high nine rebounds in the second frame. Holly and J.J. Spitler (Bend, Ore.) led the team with three assists each while Olowo led the team with three steals. A night after missing 12 free throws in a one-point loss, the Boxers rebounded by shooting 79% tonight including 10-12 (83.3%) in the second half.
With just under three minutes remaining in the first half, Pacific trailed by ten 28-18 as the Lutes were shooting 65% from the field. The Boxers went on the 9-2 run over the next 2:40 to cut the lead to three, but Pacific Lutheran hit two free throws with three seconds left to increase their lead to five at the break.
The Boxers tied the game twice early in the second half, finally took their first lead of the game at 40-39 just over five minutes into the period and then gave the lead back on the next possession. A 9-2 run built the Pacific lead to six. The Lutes responded with a three and then the Boxers went on 16-4 run to build their largest lead of the night (67-52) with four minutes remaining. Pacific Lutheran was able to keep the game from being a blowout by hitting a couple of threes, three free throws and a layup at the buzzer, but were never able to cut the lead below the final margin of seven.
Pacific faces California opponents in their next three contests. They host Caltech on Thursday, December 15 at 5:00 pm. They then fly down to Southern California for games at Whittier and Redlands on December 18 and 19 respectively. The Boxers resume Northwest Conference play in early January when they make their annual eastern Washington trip with a January 6 game at Whitworth followed the next day with a game at Whitman.
Highlights and post-game interview with Davis Holly and Head Coach: Tim Cleary