By News-Register staff • 

Bryant’s historic triple-double lifts Linfield men over Pacific

Submitted photo courtesy Nathan Herde##
Linfield freshman standout Trey Bryant blows by a Pacific defender during Tuesday’s Wildcat win, in which Bryant recorded the first triple-double in school history.
Submitted photo courtesy Nathan Herde## Linfield freshman standout Trey Bryant blows by a Pacific defender during Tuesday’s Wildcat win, in which Bryant recorded the first triple-double in school history.


Special to the News-Register

Down by as many as 17 points against Northwest Conference foe Pacific University (4-8, 0-3), Linfield’s men’s basketball team desperately needed a spark. Playing without leading scorer and star forward Dempsey Roggenbuck plus senior center Aaron Baune, the Wildcat basketball squad (8-3, 3-0) lacked an offensive punch against the Boxers.

That is until the team received unexpected contributions from Jacob Hjort and freshman Trey Bryant. The pair helped Linfield rally for a 97-85 double-overtime victory.

Jacob Hjort, a transfer from Whitworth, bailed the ‘Cats out in the first OT. With four seconds left and Linfield trailing 83-80, he took a pass from Bryant and launched a deep hurry-up three-pointer to send the game into a second OT session.

Bryant, on the other hand, finished with 17 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the first triple-double in Linfield basketball history, according to Wildcat play-by-play announcer Joe Stuart.

 “Trey was spectacular,” Linfield head coach Shanan Rosenberg said. “He had maybe the only triple-double that I've been a part of in my nine years. He played an immense game and was a huge key to us being able to win.”

Bryant, a freshman from Springfield, powered the squad to a win in the team’s first matchup of 2022.

“I'm grateful for my teammates putting me in the position to do what I did last night; I couldn't have done it without their energy, effort, off-ball play and knocking down shots,” Bryant said. “I’m just glad I could do what I do to help the team last night, but there’s still work to be done.”

The Boxers were the first on the board with a quick three-pointer from junior guard Ethan Chung, but Linfield answered immediately. The teams were closely matched during most of the first half, during which the lead flipped six times.

With four minutes remaining in the first half, the game was tied at 24. Pacific’s 18 unanswered points allowed the road team to pull ahead 39-24 at the break.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said Rosenberg. “We stunk it up in the first half, and then we came out with a lot more resolve and connected effort in the second half. There were a lot of slippery slope plays for both teams that could have tilted that game either way.”

Linfield worked to close the deficit in the second half, outscoring Pacific 28-9 to again take the lead with nine minutes remaining. Tensions ran high in the gym as Linfield narrowly maintained its lead, and the final minutes of regulation were riddled with scoring disputes, technical fouls and upset fans.

Pacific bridged the gap, and the game was knotted at 70. Senior Wildcat Max Lommen and junior Reece Gibb capitalized on foul shots to add two more, but a layup in the final 15 seconds from Pacific’s Trevon Ridley sent the game into overtime.

The Boxers held a narrow three-point lead with only four seconds remaining. Then, Hjort sank his heroic three-pointer to tie the game at 83, sending the contest into a second overtime.

“We were all super excited to see the shot go in. It’s awesome to have such supportive great teammates who love to see each other succeed,” Hjort noted. “It was a crazy game, but I’m super happy with the way we battled back as a team to win. It was a total team effort.”

Linfield quickly pulled ahead and maintained its lead, holding Pacific to only four points in the final overtime. The Wildcats protected the ball well during overtime play, turning the ball over only once and handing the Boxers their third conference loss, 95-87.

“A switch flipped for the players in terms of them being determined to be accountable for that first half and be better,” Rosenberg said. “That's part leadership by players and it's part character in their heart. A lot of it is how much they care about each other and they don't want to let each other down.”

The Wildcats played without five players, including two of their regular starters and highest scorers, Roggenbuck and Baune. According to Rosenberg, the team is currently being affected by COVID-19 contract tracing protocols and he hopes to have all the players back on the court by next week.

Updated attendance guidelines were announced prior to Tuesday’s competition, most notably restricting the number of spectators to four family members per participant and requiring proof of vaccination for each attendee. These temporary restrictions will remain in effect until at least Jan. 21 and will be re-evaluated as deemed necessary.

According to a school-wide email sent out Monday, the university has reported 39 new COVID cases since Jan. 1.

This is the first game of the calendar year for the Wildcats after the last four contests were postponed or canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. The team will head to Spokane Tuesday and Wednesday of next week to make up last weekend’s postponed matchups against Whitworth University and Whitman College.

First, the ‘Cats must face George Fox University in Newberg on Saturday evening.


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