Puget Sound Builds Early Lead in 75-62 Win Over Bearcats

Babcock-Krenk Provides Willamette with 11 Points and Six Rebounds

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

TACOMA, WASH. -- The University of Puget Sound built a quick 13-2 lead and remained in front the rest of the way, as the Loggers defeated Willamette University, 75-62, in Northwest Conference men's basketball action on Friday, Jan. 4.

Puget Sound improved to 6-7 overall, 1-3 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 4-7 overall, 1-1 in the NWC.

UPS received a boost from Rex Holmes, who hit 9 of 11 field goal attempts on his way to a game-high 23 points. He entered the night averaging 10.6 points per contest. Rex Nelson added 13 points and six boards for the Loggers, while Riggs Yarbro scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Elliot Babcock-Krenk (Sr., Wing, Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS/Humboldt State Univ.) was the only Bearcat to reach double figures. He scored 11 points and hauled down five rebounds.

Sean Dart (Sr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) provided Willamette with nine points and seven boards. Alex Brown (So., Wing/Post, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) contributed seven points and five boards.

Holmes tallied six of the 13 points in Puget Sound's game-opening run, which ended with 11 consecutive points after WU achieved a 2-2 tie. The final points of the run were scored on a 3-point basket by A.J. Maw with 14:55 left in the half.

A 3-pointer by Oliver Hughes (Sr., Wing, Salt Lake City, UT/Judge Memorial HS) and two baskets by Kyle McNally (So., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) sent Willamette on a 7-1 run, as the Bearcats reduced the lead to 14-9 in just over two minutes.

Puget Sound quickly returned to a 10-point lead at 19-9, but WU trailed by only six points, 21-15, after Trevor Bos (Sr., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) scored on a layup at the 9:00 mark. UPS scored the next 11 points to extend the lead to 32-15 with 5:34 to go in the half.

Willamette outscored UPS 12-4 over the remainder of the period to cut the lead to single digits, 36-27, at the break. The Bearcats were unable to continue the rally at the start of the second half, as the Loggers used a 13-5 run to claim a 49-32 advantage with 16:15 remaining in the game. Maw completed the run with a 3-point basket.

The Loggers led by double-digits for nearly all of the second half, but that didn't keep WU from battling back. Willamette got as close as 53-44 when Brown put in a layup with 12:31 on the clock.

Puget Sound gradually returned the lead to 17 points at 64-47. Willamette pulled within 66-54 with 5:17 to go, when Terrell Malley (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) sank a 3-pointer for his first field goal of the game. Malley also cut the lead to 12 points with a layup at the 4:13 mark, but WU never got closer.

Malley, who entered the game as Willamette's leading scorer with 15.8 points per game, finished with six points and was 2 of 14 from the field.

Willamette also struggled from the field as a team, hitting only 24 of 62 shots (38.7%) on the night, including just 12 of 34 attempts (35.3%) in the first half. The Bearcats were 6 of 21 (28.6%) from 3-point range and made 8 of 15 free throws (38.7%).

The Loggers shot 49.2% for the game (31 of 63), but made only 4 of 13 three-pointers (30.8%). Puget Sound converted 9 of 17 free throws (52.9%) and earned a 41-36 rebounding margin.

Willamette will host George Fox University in a Northwest Conference game on Saturday, Jan. 5. Game time at Cone Field House is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST) following the women's basketball game between the Bearcats and the Bruins.

BOX SCORE

University of Puget Sound 75
Willamette University 62

Elliot Babcock-Krenk topped Willamette's scoring chart with 11 points. He also grabbed six rebounds.

Elliot Babcock-Krenk topped Willamette's scoring chart with 11 points. He also grabbed six rebounds.