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November 21, 2009

Lutes Challenge Unbeaten Cavs But Fall, 76-74

PORTLAND, Ore. - Concordia improved its season record to 5-0 on Saturday night in Cavalier Gymnasium, but visiting Pacific Lutheran made the hosts work for every bit of their 76-74 non-conference men's basketball win.

The Lutes, playing their initial counting game of the season after a scrimmage and exhibition, challenged the Cavaliers right down to the last basket. Concordia had built a seemingly comfortable 44-34 lead at the half, but the Lutes came on strong in the final half before succumbing at the end.

Pacific Lutheran took a 70-66 lead on a pair of Andrew Earnest free throws with 3:49 remaining in the game. When Kyle MacTaggart hit a jumper with 2:41 left, the Lutes went ahead 72-67. Concordia eventually tied the game at 74-74 with 36 seconds left on a Dustin Hiebert layup.

PLU had a chance to score the winning points but turned the ball over with four seconds remaining. That gave Hiebert the opportunity to scoring the winning layup at the buzzer, giving the Cavs the win.

Junior wing Curtis Trondsen poured in a game-high 21 points to lead the Lutes, going 8-for-19 from the floor with four "treys." MacTaggart added 17 points for the Lutes, who also got 12 points from Victor Bull and a team-high seven rebounds from Gabe Smith.

Alex Tiefenthaler, the Cavs' leading scorer and rebounder this season, tallied 19 points and nine boards in the game. Jourdan Sweeney contributed 13 rebounds to go along with seven points, and Kevan West dropped in 16 points for the winners.

The Cavaliers shot 48 percent from the field compared to 39 percent for the Lutes, and the hosts also owned a small 38-36 rebound advantage.

Pacific Lutheran returns to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday when it hosts Evergreen State in another non-conference game in Olson Auditorium.

- PLU -