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December 27, 2010

One More Time in 2010 For PLU Men's Basketball

THIS WEEK: Pacific Lutheran (5-4) at The Evergreen State (5-8), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

ONE MORE IN 2010: Pacific Lutheran closes out the 2010 portion of its men's basketball season on Tuesday when it travels to Olympia to face The Evergreen State College in a non-conference game at The Greenhouse. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. An audio webcast will be available at www.golutes.com/listenlive, and a video webcast is also available at http://geoducks.nmtvsports.com.

ABOUT EVERGREEN STATE: Though only 5-8 this season, the Geoducks have won their last four consecutive games, the last three of those at home. The four-game winning streak started on the road against University of Puget Sound and culminated with a pre-Christmas home win in overtime against over Pacific University (89-82), both PLU opponents in the Northwest Conference. In fact, the Lutes were defeated by visiting Pacific in their conference opener back on Dec. 3. Josh Troyer, a 6-3 senior guard, has led the Geoducks in scoring each of the past four games, including three in a row with at least 20 points. He averages 12.8 points per game, tied with 6-1 frosh guard Mikey Hope. The team's leading scorer is 6-5 junior forward Marice Tolliver, who averages 13.3 per contest. Evergreen State, a NAIA member institution, has two other players averaging in doulble figures, 6-1 senior guard Johnny Sarysz at 10.7 points per game and 5-9 junior guard Tyreell Dixon at 10.3 per contest. Tolliver paces the team with 8.0 rebounds per game, though the Geoducks have been outboarded by more than 10 rebounds per contest. Expect the Geoducks to hoist from distance - they average 25 three-point attempts per game.

SERIES HISTORY: Evergreen State has won eight of the 10 games played between the two programs, including four in a row. The Geoducks beat the Lutes in Parkland last Nov. 24, 91-82, despite a career-best 19 points from then-frosh PLU wing Cameron Schilling. The last PLU win in the series came during the 2003-04 season by an 80-73 score.

LUTES ON A ROLL: The Lutes have won four straight games dating back to a Dec. 4 conference home victory over George Fox. Since that time, they have picked up non-conference wins over Saint Martin's, Cal Lutheran and Caltech - and enjoyed some time off for the Christmas break. Now, they are back to business with this final non-conference game of the 2010-11 season.

PLU 79, CALTECH 55: Pacific Lutheran won its fourth straight game and got above the .500 mark for the season with a 79-55 men's basketball win over Caltech at the SCIAC Classic at California Lutheran University's Gilbert Arena. The game was played on Sunday, Dec. 19. At the same time that they improved their season record to 5-4, the Lutes also brought an end to a Caltech three-game winning streak, that program's longest since the 1994-95 season. PLU used a balanced scoring attack and a big rebounding advantage to beat the Beavers. Kyle MacTaggart and Kole Podowicz both scored 12 points to lead the Lutes, followed by Victor Bull with 11 and Andrew Earnest with 10. For Podowicz, a frosh post out of Lacey's Timberline High School, it was a collegiate career high. Zachary Klein corraled 11 rebounds, while Bull and Cameron Schilling both grabbed nine, to lead the Lutes to a 49-31 dominance in that category.

PLU 70, CAL LUTHERAN 58: Shooting 64 percent from the field in the second half, Pacific Lutheran rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to beat Cal Lutheran, 70-58, in the first game of the SCIAC Classic at Caltech's Braun Athletic Center. That game was played on Dec. 18. Trailing 29-26 at the intermission, the Lutes came out on fire in the second half, shooting 16-for-25, including 4-for-7 from three point range, to rally for the win over the Kingsmen. The Lutes also shot 8-for-9 from the charity stripe in the final period. Kyle MacTaggart led a balanced PLU scoring attack with 12 points, followed by junior point guard James Conti with 11 points. Frosh wing Kai Hoyt and senior wing Curtis Trondsen both came off the bench to chip in 10 points to the victory. Bull, a senior post, led the Lutes with eight rebounds.

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