Five Starters Hit Double Figures in PLU Win

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. - All five Pacific Lutheran starters scored in double figures as Pacific Lutheran defeated the host Linfield Wildcats, 77-59, in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game played Friday night in Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

The Lutes broke away from a one-point halftime lead to secure the road win and improve their overall record to 9-6 and their conference mark to 4-3. Linfield is now 7-9 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

Andrew Earnest scored 16 points to lead the Lutes, followed by James Conti with 15, Kyle MacTaggart with 12, Cameron Schilling with 11 and Victor Bull with 10.

K.C. Wiser hit a jumper at the 14:11 mark of the second half to cut the Pacific Lutheran lead to 39-38, but the Lutes raced away from the 'Cats with a 21-6 run. MacTaggart started the spurt with back-to-back baskets before a layup from Bull pushed the lead out to 46-38 with 12:28 remaining.

Linfield trimmed the lead back down to six with just over 10 minutes remaining. From there it was all Pacific Lutheran. Aided by a Linfield technical foul, the Lutes rolled off the next 10 points. A Kole Podowicz free throw with just less than eight minutes remaining extended the lead to 60-44.

The Lutes shot a blistering 65 percent during the second half, carving up the Wildcats for 47 points over the final 20 minutes.

Free throws and rebounding proved to be key factors in the game's outcome. Pacific Lutheran knocked down 12-of-13 shots from the charity stripe, while Linfield made just 5-of-9 attempts. The Lutes added 10 offensive rebounds in the win.

Wiser was the lone Linfield player in double figures with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting.

During the first half the Wildcats shot 54 percent while the Lutes managed a 38 percent output. Despite the shooting disparity, Pacific Lutheran took a 30-29 lead into halftime thanks to a 17-12 rebounding edge.

The Lutes jumped out to an early 13-6 lead on a three-point play from James Conti at the 13:40 mark of the first half. Eight-straight points from the 'Cats gave Linfield its first lead of the evening with just over 10 minutes gone by.

The two clubs traded punches over the ensuing 10 minutes, with neither team taking a lead of more than three. Wiser was unstoppable during the first half, scoring 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting.