Sports & Outdoors

Men’s basketball team continues to strive for greatness

The Puget Sound men’s basketball team beat the University of California at Santa Cruz 65 to 52 on Dec. 5 to improve their record to 4-2.

With the team’s win again UC Santa Cruz, the Loggers have increased their winning streak to three games. The previous two wins came during the Loggers’ road trip when they traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Loggers’ 65-point win was only three points behind their season average. They are currently averaging 68 points per game through five games.

What was most impressive for the Loggers’ offense was that they scored 40 points in the second half.

Junior center Keith Shattuck (Lake Forest Park, Wash.) finished the game 5-for-11 from the field with a team leading 15 points. Senior guard Erin Barber (Puyallup, Wash.) finished 5-for-12 from the field with 14 points.  They were the two Loggers who finished with double-digit points. The Loggers finished 41.5 percent (22-53) from the field.

“We have a lot of guys that can score and we try to take good shots each possession,” junior guard Matt Reid (Olympia, Wash.) said.

The Loggers’ defense dominated the game holding UC Santa Cruz to a measly 29.8 percent from the field, the lowest field goal percentage an opponent has had against the Puget Sound men’s basketball team. UC Santa Cruz’s 23 points in the first half is thus far the lowest amount of points scored against the Loggers.

“We stayed in front of them and forced them to make tough shots,” Reid said.

Senior guard James Osorio (Mountain View, Calif.) anchored the defense with 10 defensive rebounds. Osorio finished the game with 11 total rebounds. Barber added six rebounds to the team’s total.

“We focus a lot on getting more offensive rebounds than the other team each game. We work to crash the boards hard both offensively and defensively and it has paid off so far,” Reid said.

The Loggers finished with 41 total rebounds compared to UC Santa Cruz’s 39. The plus-two margin is far below the average rebound margin for the Loggers. Per game, they average a positive 7.2 rebound margin. The Loggers average 38.2 rebounds per game.

The team hopes to continue to emphasize to contest every shot.  The game against UC Santa Cruz has encouraged the team to continue to play tough. The Loggers want to put themselves in a position to win the conference championship this season.

“We just need to improve every day. We’ve got to keep practicing hard and improving from game to game so that we can be our best at the end of the year,” Reid said.

The Loggers’ next game is against Portland Bible away on Dec. 9 starting at 6 p.m. Portland Bible is an out-of-conference game. The Loggers start conference play against George-Fox Jan. 3 at 6 p.m., an in-conference game.