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Lutes Start 2-0 After 77-46 Win Over Portland Bible

James Conti
James Conti

Pacific Lutheran dominated the much shorter Portland Bible Wildcats on the boards in romping to a 77-46 men's basketball win at the UPS Tip-Off Classic at the University of Puget Sound's Memorial Fieldhouse.

The Lutes grabbed 39 rebounds, led by Cameron Schilling with 12, on the way to opening the season with a 2-0 record. Portland Bible is now 2-6 after the loss.

The Wildcats, without a player taller than 6-1, could not match the Lutes on the boards, managing just 21 during the game. While the Lutes swept 14 rebounds on the offensive end, the Wildcats managed just two offensive boards. In addition, one night after shooting 15-for-27 from three-point range in a close loss to Puget Sound, they made just 5-for-16 from beyond the arc against a Pacific Lutheran defense that made the 'Cats work for every shot.

As they had the night before in a season-opening win against La Verne, the Lutes opened this game with a three-point basket from Drew Earnest, and they never trailed thereafter. They took their first double-digit lead of the night at 18-8 on James Conti's jumper less than four minutes into the game.

Portland Bible cut its deficit to five points on a jumper by Garrett Powless and a long three-point bomb by Vicente Cruz, but once the Lutes took a 25-15 advantage on a Zachary Klein jumper with 8:03 left in the half, they never led by less than double digits the rest of the way.

All 16 players on the PLU roster saw action in the game. Conti led the way with 14 points, followed by Terrell Williams with 13 and both Earnest and Kai Hoyt with 10 apiece. Williams was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.

The Lutes shot 30-for-62 from the field, good for 48 percent, while the Wildcats were 15-for-38, or 40 percent.

Both Conti and Schilling were named to the all-tournament team.

Pacific Lutheran returns to action on Friday and Saturday when it hosts the PLU Thanksgiving Classic in Olson Auditorium. It will play Wisconsin-River Falls at 8 p.m. Friday and then come back on short rest to face Evergreen State at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

- PLU -