Christian Bond, Guest Writer
The Pacific Lutheran University Men’s Basketball Team had a chance to make a playoff appearance, but needed a lot of help last weekend.
Facing two teams that were ranked high in conference, the Lutes had their work cut out for them.
PLU lost both games, but didn’t go down without a fight.
“The weekend showed the true character of our team,” said head coach Steve Dickerson. “We were humbled by Whitworth but came back the next day to play a terrific game versus Whitman. It really was a classic.”
The Lutes fought hard on Friday night as they faced the top team in the conference, Whitworth University.
The Pirates had their way with the Lutes. Whitworth walked away with a 69-38 victory.
Knowing their playoff chances were virtually over, PLU celebrated the careers of their seniors Saturday night.
Andrew Alness, Austen Trent Wilson, Kevin McCrossin, and Terrell Williams were all honored before the game.
Coach Dickerson had nothing but praise for his four seniors.
“It is always a catch-22 situation to see the seniors go. You have spent so much time together and gone through so many different things,” said Dickerson.
The Lutes played some inspired basketball Saturday night against Whitman.
Whitman was another high ranked team, but PLU was not afraid. The seniors certainly wanted to go out in style.
The Lutes had a five-point lead heading into halftime. In the second half they stretched the lead to 8 with a little more than 8 minutes left in the game.
PLU had a 4-point lead with 32 seconds left in the game.
Tochi Oti hit two clutch free throws for Whitman, sending the game into overtime. The late rally meant Whitman had all the momentum on their side heading into overtime.
The Lutes did not shoot well down the stretch. Apart from a buzzer beater put-back from sophomore Kyle Sawtell, PLU did not score for the majority of the last two minutes.
Whitman was able to finish strong and put the Lutes away 88-80.
The Pacific Lutheran Men’s Basketball Team made it’s fans proud by showing fight and resilience in their final game.
The Lutes finished with an 8-17 record, while going 6-10 in conference.
With a relatively young team of talented players, the future looks bright for the program.
Coach Dickerson is positive about the future.
“If we work hard over the off season and bring in a couple of good recruits the future looks very bright.”