SEATTLE, Wash. (Feb. 14) – Starting guards Mark McLaughlin (Jr., Bothell, Wash./Inglemoor HS) and Jordan Coby (Sr., Tacoma, Wash./Woodrow Wilson HS) both scored in double figures, but the Central Washington University men's basketball team was unable to overcome a 29.9 percent shooting night and a conversely hot-shooting Seattle Pacific University squad in the Wildcats' 113-75 loss to the fifth-ranked Falcons on Thursday night at Brougham Pavilion.
The Wildcats suffered their second consecutive loss, falling to 13-9 overall and 7-7 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Falcons, who earned their largest margin of victory in 120 series meetings between the two schools, improved to 18-3 overall and 11-2 in the GNAC.
McLaughlin scored 20 and Coby added 17 to account for almost half of the Wildcats' 75 points on the night. Coby drained five three-pointers in eight attempts and was 6 of 11 overall, while McLaughlin made 7 of 16 shots. Junior Nate Walker (Tacoma, Wash./Henry Foss HS) had 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds (six offensive) in 21 minutes off the bench.
CWU never led in Thursday's contest, struggling from the get-go especially on offense. CWU made just 9 of 40 shot attempts in the first half (22.5 percent). The last time the Wildcats shot below 30 percent in a game was also against Seattle Pacific, when they made 26.8 percent in a 76-49 home loss to the Falcons in January 2012.
Seattle Pacific started the game on a 16-4 run, and although CWU closed the gap to five points, SPU responded with a 19-2 spurt to make it a 22-point game. The Falcons led 49-25 at halftime. The hosts shot 62.9 percent in the final period, while CWU improved upon its first half percentage but still made just 37.8 percent (14 of 37) after the break.
Neither team committed many turnovers, with the Wildcats totaling just nine turnovers to Seattle Pacific's eight. SPU finished with a 49-39 advantage in rebounding, although the decided difference was in field goal shooting.
CWU remains in fifth place in the conference standings with four games remaining in the regular season. The Wildcats will visit sixth-place Montana State University Billings (13-11, 6-7 GNAC) on Saturday night for a 7:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (6:30 p.m. Pacific) contest with the Yellowjackets.
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