Strong First Half Lifts Puget Sound To Win Over Pacific

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TACOMA, Wash. – A strong first half shooting performance by Puget Sound neutralized an equally strong performance by Pacific in the second half Saturday as the Boxers fell to the Loggers 74-63 in Northwest Conference men's basketball action at Memorial Fieldhouse.
The Loggers (15-4, 7-3 NWC) blazed the nets for 55 percent shooting in the opening half, connecting on 16 of 29 from the field while the Boxers finished 9 of 24 from the field.  Pacific came around to shoot 56 percent in the second half and outscored Puget Sound 41-37 in the final 20 minutes, but the Loggers kept pace by shooting 50 percent and finishing the game at 52.7 percent (29-55).
Ernesto Mayz (So., Caracas, Venezuela) and Cameron Hayes (So., Milton, Wash.) each scored 12 points to lead the Boxers (8-11, 2-8 NWC).  Mayz connected on 3 of 5 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free throw line.  Coby Proctor (Fr., Sublimity, Ore.) finished with 10.  Pacific finished the contest shooting 46.9 percent from the field (23-49), including 4 of 8 from three-point range, and hit 13 of 18 from the free throw line.
Derek Jobe led four Puget Sound players in double figures with 13 points.  Kaleb Shelton finished with 11 while Edric Egberuare and Riggs Yarbro each scored 10.  Anthony Gittens pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds as the Loggers out-boarded the Boxers 31-27.
The two teams hooked up for a close game over the first 10 minutes of the second half.  Puget Sound led 12-11 at the 12:31 mark when Derek Jobe's three-pointer and a subsequent Gittens' lay-in opened up a 17-11 lead with 11:40 to go.  Pacific cut the lead back to four of Hayes' lay-in with 10:53 left, but Gittens' bucket on the next possession sparked an 8-0 run over the next three minutes that put the Loggers ahead 25-13.
Mayz cut the Pacific deficit to 11 points, 27-16, with his free throw at the 5:35 mark.  That's as close as Pacific would get as the Boxers hit just three shots from the field over the final 10 minutes of the period.  Shelton's lay-in with 2:18 remaining gave the Loggers their biggest lead of the stanza at 34-17 before Hayes' lay-in as time expired cut the Pacific deficit to 37-22 at the half.
Pacific made up some ground early in the second half thanks to an improved shooting performance.  Two free throws by Mayz at the 16:28 mark reduced the Pacific deficit to 42-28 and a three-pointer from Proctor brought the Boxers within 12, 44-32, with 15:29 left.
The Puget Sound lead was 51-38 when a trey from Julian Fernandez ignited a 9-2 run that gave the Loggers their biggest lead of the game, 60-40, with 8:19 to go.  Pacific would not come any closer than 15 points until late in the contest.
Pacific will conclude a three-game road trip on Friday at George Fox before finishing the 2011-12 season with four of five games at home.  The Boxers will return home on Saturday to host Willamette.  Both games will be aired live via webcast and can be heard by logging on to