By Christian Bond, PLU Sports Information Student Writer
TACOMA – A 14-0 run midway to close the first half pulled Pacific Lutheran within three points at halftime, but a cold streak from the 3-point line and a season-high 21 turnovers cost the Lutes as Puget Sound defeated PLU 73-58 Tuesday night at Memorial Fieldhouse.
After a 17-4 run midway through the first half, UPS led PLU 37-20 with 5:07 to play before halftime. In the final five minutes of the half, Brandon Lester, Dylan Foreman and Bryce Miller combined for 14 straight points to cut the deficit to 37-34 heading into halftime. Coming out of the break, however, the Loggers could not miss, as they stretched the lead to 19 points with 11:24 left in the game. The 22-6 run proved to be too much for the Lutes to overcome.
"UPS played harder than we did," PLU head coach Steve Dickerson said. "They made shots, and we didn't."
Lester and Foreman tied to lead PLU with 16 points. Meanwhile Miller scored 14 points on only four on an efficient 3-of-4 performance from the field. Miller took 12 shots from the free throw line, converting eight of them. He also grabbed seven rebounds, while Jared Christy finished with a game-high 10 rebounds as PLU out-rebounded UPS 35-to-31.
After coming into the game shooting a Northwest Conference-best 40.3 percent from 3-point range, PLU's 19.2 shooting mark from long-range (5-of-26) was the Lutes' second-lowest of the season. Overall, the Lutes made 38 percent (19-of-50) from the field. PLU's 21 turnovers were also the most this season, and UPS took advantage of PLU's mistakes with 21 points off turnovers.
"We live by the 3, and tonight we died by the 3," Dickerson said. "We also turned the ball over 21 times, which is unlike us."
Despite the loss, PLU sits fourth in the Northwest Conference standings with a 4-5 record, 11-7 overall, as the Lutes head into Friday's home game against Willamette. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.