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Jaryd Cline, Staff Reporter - January 20, 2012

The deep three-pointer off the hands of Jordan Coby hit nothing but net, sending the crowd into a frenzy and tying the score at 66 against Seattle Pacific University, the number six ranked team in the nation.

Junior guard Mark McLaughlin led the team with 18 points and senior guard Brandon Magee finished with ten points and ten rebounds, giving him his third double-double of the season, but it wasn’t enough as SPU held on to win 80-71.

The Wildcats (10-6 overall 4-4 GNAC) dropped to fifth place in the GNAC as SPU (13-2 overall 6-1 GNAC) sits a half game behind Western Washington University in the standings.

The Wildcats played strong in the first half, leading by as many as three at one time before they head into the locker room trailing by two 34-32.

At half the Falcons held a 12-0 advantage in second chance points, despite having the same amount of offensive rebounds as the Wildcats.

The Wildcats opened the second half slowly as SPU increased their lead to eight within the first minute and a half.

“We played poor at the beginning of the second half, I think we let [SPU player and former WSU player] Patrick Simon score eight straight against us,” head coach Greg Sparling said.

SPU increased their lead to ten before Central was forced to call a timeout and regroup.

Over the next four minutes Central converted on eight free throws and guard Jordan Coby hit the deep three-pointer to tie the game up with three minutes left to play.

The Wildcats went scoreless from the field in the last four minutes and SPU converted on its free throws to seal the game.

SPU was able to use its size to take advantage of the Wildcats. SPU outrebounded the Wildcats 42-38 and scored 36 points in the paint.

“We tried to let our athletic ability take over and try to get some easy looks,” Magee said.

The Wildcats face Northwest Nazarene University next Saturday as Nicholson Pavilion. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

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