Loggers Leave Bearcats in Second Place in NWC With 93-68 Win

TACOMA, WA — The University of Puget Sound shot better than 50% in the first half and forced 17 Bearcat turnovers as they defeated the Willamette University men’s basektball team, 93-68, to take sole possession of first place in the Northwest Conference Friday night in Tacoma.

The Loggers broke open a close game mid-way through the first half, turning a 25-23 game with 8:34 to go into a 53-38 halftime lead.

John Olinger scored a pair of hoops midway through the second half, scoring the 1000th point of his career, to pull the Bearcats back within nine with 17:15 to play. But the Bearcats could get no closer as the Loggers took a 41-28 edge in rebounding and forced 25 turnovers as they moved to 12-2 on the season.

In the first half, Willamette (16-7, 12-3 NWC) took an early lead that lasted until Chase Curtiss hit a jumper at the 15:10 mark to give the Loggers(19-4, 13-2 NWC)a lead they would never relinquish.

The Loggers were led by Zach McVey, who finished with a game-high 30 points and game-high 15 rebounds. Curtiss finished with 21 points and eight assists while freshman Jason Foster (Spanaway, Wash./Henry Foss) added 16 points to the win. Freshman guard Antwan Williams points to round out the Loggers in double-digit scoring.

Willamette was led by 15 points from Drew Miller and 13 from John
Olinger. Jason Luchterhand posted a double-double, recording 11
points and 10 rebounds for the Bearcats.

The Loggers need only a win at home Saturday night against Linfield to clinch the NWC regular season championship. Should both Whitworth and Willamette win Saturday night, the two would finish tied for second. But the Bearcats would have to travel to Whitworth next Thursday as the No. 3 seed in the conference championship.

The Bearcats play at George Fox and Whitworth travels to Pacific Lutheran to round out the NWC season Saturday night.