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A 92-74 loss to Seattle Pacific University Saturday night, dropped the Central Washington University men’s basketball team to 0-2 for the season, according to a story posted on the CWU Athletics website.

“We struggled to find the energy it takes to defend on the road tonight,” CWU Head Coach Brandon Rinta said. “I was nervous about how our legs would respond to back-to-back games. We had moments, but couldn’t sustain it. Our guys never quit and kept fighting and I was proud of them for that. We will be better because of this weekend.”

The Wildcats and Falcons (7-3) played a tight contest in Ellensburg Friday night in which the Falcons came squeaked out an 86-82 victory.

David Thompson led the Wildcats on Friday night with 29 points and found himself atop the leader board for CWU again tonight with 20 points. Xavier Smith finished just behind with 19. Smith also recorded five rebounds, while Thompson led the ‘Cats in assists with four.

Seattle Pacific opened the scoring and held the lead for most of the first three minute of play until a pair of free throws from Thompson tied the game at 8-8. A fastbreak layup from Smith gave the Wildcats a 10-8 advantage for their first lead of the game with 16:49 left in the first. The Falcons quickly regained the lead with a three from Zack Paulsen and opened a 12-2 run.

A layup from Micah Pollard ended the run, but the Falcons responded with a trey from Chris Penner taking a 26-14 lead. Buckets from Matt Poquette, Marqus Gilson, and Smith, as well as a free throw sprinkled in, cut SPU’s advantage to five. The Falcons quickly extended their lead back to double digits, 34-23, with 6:28 left in the first half.

Central held the deficit near 10 until the final minute of the first half when a three from SPU’s Harry Cavell gave the Falcons a 49-35 lead with 53 seconds remaining. Poquette knocked down a free throw for the half’s final point, bringing the score to 49-36 at the buzzer.

The second half opened with a three from Lewis Pope, bringing the deficit to 49-39. Seattle Pacific responded with a flurry of scoring, taking a 15-point advantage at 56-41.

With 13:59 left in regulation a three from Pope put the Falcons’ lead in single digits, 58-49. A layup from Gilson pulled the Wildcats even closer, just seven points behind. A five-point run from the Falcons reinstated their double-digit lead, 63-51.

The Falcons lead expanded through the remainder of the second, culminating in the victory.

CWI looks to rebound from this weekend when they host Saint Martin’s University on Friday, February 26. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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