MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – Rex Holmes season-high 23 points led the Puget Sound men's basketball team to a 80-67 win over Linfield, giving head coach Justin Lunt his 100th career win and locking up the No. 2 seed for the Loggers in next weeks NWC Tournament.
Lunt notched his 100th win in just his sixth season at the helm of the Puget Sound men's basketball program. He is the first coach since Bob Niehl won 134 games from 1989-99 to reach 100 career victories on the Logger bench.
Holmes led the Loggers (19-6, 11-5 NWC) to a crucial victory over Linfield with 23 points off the bench. He was 13-of-16 from the free throw line to fuel the offensive outburst. Riggs Yarbro added 12 points off the bench and Kaleb Shelton-Johnson scored 14 points to lead the Logger starters.
After falling behind 5-7 on a Cory Hendryx three-pointer for Linfield, Julian Fernandev tied the game up at 7-7 and Holmes gave the Loggers a 9-7 lead with 16:28 left in the first half. The back-to-back baskets sparked a 17-4 run that gave the Loggers command of the game.
The Wildcats (5-20, 3-13 NWC) cut the lead down to one point on a Michael Moreland jumper but Edric Egberaure responded for the Loggers on the next rip down the floor. Zach Anderson again cut the lead to one for Linfield and Matt Kalbfleisch tied up the game at 35-35 just before half.
Anderson had a game-high 26 points for the Wildcats.
Shelton-Johnson scored the first points of the second half to give the Loggers a lead they would not relinquish. The Loggers continued to pull away over the second half and kept the Wildcats at arm's length as they never led by more than 13 points.
The Loggers secured the No. 2 seed and the right to host an NWC semifinal game on Thursday. They will host third-seeded Whitman at 7 p.m. on Thursday for the right to advance to the NWC Championship game on Saturday.