SPOKANE, Wash. – Kyle Roach and Kenny Love combined for 43 points to lead 8th-ranked Whitworth to a 77-65 come-from-behind victory over visiting Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Friday night.
Roach and Love scored 27 of the points in the second half as the Pirates (12-2 overall, 3-2 NWC) overcame a 15-point, first half deficit to the Loggers (9-5, 2-3).
Puget Sound never trailed in the first half, jumping out to a 9-3 lead by making three consecutive three-pointers. After Whitworth briefly tied the game 9-9, the Logger defense held the Pirates scoreless for more than seven minutes while extending the lead to 17-9 on a layup by Zach Miller. But Puget Sound was not done. The Loggers eventually built their lead to 30-15 on an Andre Lewis layup with just over five minutes to go.
The Pirate comeback actually began in the late stages of the first half. Love hit Whitworth's first three-pointer of the game to end the UPS run and Derek Isaak scored just before the buzzer to close the margin to 34-28 at halftime. The Loggers shot 45% (14-31) in the opening half and held the Pirates to only 39% (9-23), including 17% (1-6) from three-point range.
But Puget Sound continued to hold the lead for the first seven minutes of the second half. Jimmy Wohrer's jumper gave the visitors a 41-34 lead three and a half minutes into the period. Still trailing by seven points two minutes later, Whitworth used a 10-0 run to take its first lead of the game. Love scored five of those points with a three-pointer and a pair of free throws.
Wohrer tied the game 52-52 with a three-pointer, one of five he would make in the game, but the Pirates scored seven straight points to retake a lead the team would never relinquish. The final margin was the Bucs' largest of the game as Whitworth went 9-10 at the free throw line in the last two minutes.
The Pirates held the Loggers to only 30% (10-33) after halftime and Whitworth found its offensive groove, making 50% (13-26) from the field after the break.
"I'm really proud of our guys as we were able to step up to the challenge of containing the dribble penetration by their really good guards," said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie. "And we had guys make some really key individual plays down the stretch, which we had been lacking this year. This is our grittiest win of the season and I think it is something for us to build on."
Roach scored a game-high 22 points and led Whitworth with seven rebounds. Love added 21 points and grabbed six boards. Ben Bishop and Benny Nick combined for 13 points in the post off of the bench.
Wohrer led the Loggers with 19 points, while Kohl Meyer contributed 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Whitworth will host Pacific Lutheran on Saturday night while Puget Sound travels to Whitman.