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PUGET SOUND 80, GEORGE FOX 75: Bruins’ Late Rally Falls Just Short as Loggers Prevail
TACOMA, Wash. – Down by 18 with just over five minutes left, the George Fox University Bruins closed within three points over the next three minutes but could not complete the comeback as the University of Puget Sound Loggers escaped with an 80-75 Northwest Conference men’s basketball victory Friday night here at Memorial Fieldhouse.
Although they never led (there were two early ties), the Bruins kept the score close through the first 10 minutes of the game. The Loggers took five-point leads three times in that span, the last at 22-17 with 10:15 left on a jumper by Gabe Borboa, but Stephen Wiseley hit two free throws for the Bruins to trim the margin to 22-19 with 9:53 to go.
Ryan Rogers hit two three-pointers and Aaron Edwards one from downtown as the Loggers exploded with a 13-0 burst in just over two minutes, jumping in front 35-19 with 7:30 left. Rich Smith’s jumper for the Bruins halted the run, and the visitors climbed back within nine on a Wiseley three that made it 35-26 with 4:35 to go. Kaleb Shelton’s three ignited an 8-0 Logger run at that point, and they eventually built a 44-30 halftime lead.
The Loggers remained comfortably ahead, maintaining a distance between eight and 18 points, through 14 minutes of the second half. Two more freebies by Wiseley that made it 56-48 with 11:55 left was as close as the Bruins came during that time, and they trailed by 18 at 71-53 with 5:26 to go following two free throws by Edric Egberuare.
A three-point play by Smith at 5:17 started the Bruins’ comeback as they reeled off 15 unanswered points in a two-and-a-half minute span. Wiseley canned two straight long-range bombs, Mike Taylor hit a jumper, Wiseley drained two more charity tosses, and Davis Martin’s basket turned the game into a 71-68 nail-biter with 2:05 remaining.
Shelton was fouled hitting a jumper and made the free throw with 1:47 left, ending the Bruins’ streak, and the Loggers sank six of 10 free throws the rest of the way as the Bruins resorted to fouling in an effort to slow the clock and catch up. Shelton hit four more from the line, giving him seven points in the last two minutes, as the home team hung on to end a string of six straight losses.
Wiseley led all scorers with a career-high 29 points for the Bruins, sinking 9-14 from the floor, including 5-8 from three-point range, and 6-7 free throws. Taylor added 15 points, and Smith and Martin had 11 each, a career high for the latter. Taylor had nine rebounds and passed out three assists.
Shelton had 21 points to pace the Loggers, with Borboa chipping in 16 and Egberuare adding 14, along with team highs of nine rebounds and six assists. UPS controlled the glass 44-34.
NEXT: George Fox (4-12, NWC 2-5) returns home to close out the first half of conference play against Yamhill County rival Linfield College Saturday, while Puget Sound (6-10, NWC 3-4) welcomes Lewis & Clark College Saturday. Both games tip off at 8:00 p.m. following NWC women’s games at 6:00 p.m.