WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Puget Sound parlayed an 8-1 run late in the second half to slip past Whitman College 68-63 in Northwest Conference men's basketball action Friday night in Tacoma, Wash.
Whitman, now 1-2 in the NWC and 8-4 on the season, rallied from a 37-32 halftime deficit to grab a 57-56 lead on an Ignas Pavilonis 3-point strike with seven minutes left to play.
But the Loggers tallied eight of the next nine points over the next three minutes to vault in front 64-58.
Whitman made a late run when Peter Clark connected from the 3-point line to trim the Missionary deficit to 66-62 with 2:22 on the clock.
Neither side scored on its next possession, but Josh Duckworth converted one of two free throws with 44 seconds left to make it a three-point game.
With the ensuing Logger shot clock winding down, Rex Holmes drew a foul and made both free throws with 13 seconds left to give Puget Sound a 68-63 lead.
Two Missionary shots failed to drop in the closing seconds.
Puget Sound, ranked No. 16 in the latest D3Hoops.com national poll, improved to 3-0 in the NWC and 11-1 overall.
David Michaels, a senior forward, posted a double-double for Whitman, combining 18 points with a game-high 11 rebounds. LuQuam Thompson, a sophomore guard, made seven of 14 shots from the floor in scoring 14 points to go with six rebounds.
Pavilonis nailed a trio of 3-point attempts, finishing with nine points and five rebounds. Duckworth had three of Whitman's seven steals as the Missionaries hounded the Loggers into 18 turnovers.
Whitman won the rebounding battle by a 42-41 margin, but a rough shooting night kept the Missionaries from capitalizing on 23 offensive rebounds.
While Whitman took 20 more shots than the Loggers, it made just 32.9 percent (23-70) of its field goal attempts and just 26.9 percent (7-26) of its 3-point tries.
Puget Sound shot 46 percent (23-50) from the floor and 50 percent (6-12) from the 3-point arc.
Holmes paced the Loggers with 19 points. Kaleb Shelton added a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Anthony Gittens just missed that distinction with nine points and 10 boards.
Whitman, which beat Puget Sound twice last season, slipped behind by nine points early in the second half but then ripped off nine unanswered points to pull even at 43-43 with 14:44 left to play.
Michaels finished a 3-point play in the paint as part of that run, which also included baskets by Thompson and two more sophomores, Ryan Gilkey and Ben Eisenhardt.
Whitman forged three more ties over the next seven minutes before the Pavilonis three-ball gave the Missionaries their one-point lead.
The two teams deadlocked three times early in the first half -- the third time at 10-10 on a Michaels layup six minutes into the game. The Loggers eased in front 16-11 but Whitman stayed close, getting two 3-point baskets from Pavilonis and one each from Michaels and freshman Matt Mounier.
Mounier's trey closed Whitman's deficit to 35-32 with 1:41 left in the half, but Puget Sound scored on its next possession and the Missionaries misfired five times in the final minute.
Whitman stays in Tacoma on Saturday to play a 6 p.m. game at Pacific Lutheran.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com