March 8, 2009

Courtesy of Puget Sound Athletics

TACOMA, Wash. - One week after battling for the NWC Tournament Final, the seventh-ranked Puget Sound Loggers gained revenge over the 21st-ranked Whitworth Pirates, 84-72, in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship on Saturday night at Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma, Wash.

In the first half, junior Austin Boyce (Kent, Wash./Kentwood) put the Loggers on his back, scoring the team's first eight points as Puget Sound built a small lead. The Pirates kept the Loggers honest the remainder of the half, not allowing Puget Sound to build a double-digit lead as the home squad took a 33-29 lead into the break.

In the second half, the Pirates fought back, even taking a brief lead early in the period. The Loggers answered the Pirates' call, going on a 9-0 run to build a double-digit lead and Puget Sound would control the game the rest of the way. The lead would grow to as many as 14 as the Loggers advanced in the national tournament with an 84-72 win.

Puget Sound was led by a double-double from Jason Foster (Spanaway, Wash./Henry Foss) as he finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, including 15-of-16 on free throws. Boyce finished with 21 on the night and Antwan Williams (Portland, Ore./Madison) chipped in 15 points. Robert Krauel (Phoenix, Ariz./North Canyon) nearly picked up the double-double, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Whitworth was led by 27 points from David Riley. Nate Montgomery added 18 points while Ross Nakamura added 12 points, playing all by 19 seconds of the game.

The Loggers will next face top-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) on Friday at a site to be determined. The NCAA is expected to release the sectional sites on Sunday.