Whits continue strong start to season

The Missionary men are off to its best start in two decades after the 100-68 rout of North Central University Saturday.

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WALLA WALLA — Off to its best start in two decades, Whitman College rolled over Minnesota’s North Central University 100-68 Saturday afternoon in non-conference men’s basketball action on George Ball Court in Sherwood Center.

Winning its fifth straight game, Whitman improved to 6-2 on the season while dropping North Central to 3-7.

Justin Artis paced a balanced Whitman attack, just missing a double-double with game-high numbers in both points with 19 and rebounds with nine.

Artis was one of five Missionaries scoring in double figures. Brandon Shaw tallied 15 points and freshman Peter Clark had 11. Freshman LuQuam Thompson and senior Jordan Wheeler chipped in with 10 points apiece.

Whitman also got eight points each from freshman Drew Raher and sophomores Juan Pablo Alvarez and David Michaels.

On the defensive end for the floor, Whitman forced 26 turnovers and outrebounded North Central 45-42.

Ross Johnson led North Central with 17 points. Steve Svoboda and Daniel Young added 11 points apiece for the Rams.

The two sides traded small leads to start the game before Whitman inched ahead 22-18 midway through the first half. The Missionaries took charge at that point, outscoring the Rams 15-2 over the next five-plus minutes to extend their lead to 37-20.

Whitman ended the first half on a 5-0 run to push its advantage to 50-31 at intermission. The Missionaries hit six 3-pointers in the opening half — North Central made none — and connected on 17-of-35 shots from the floor (48.6 percent) overall.

All but one of the 11 Whitman players who checked into the game in the first half made their way into the scoring column. Thompson led the way, collecting all 10 of his points prior to the break.

Johnson opened the scoring in the second half with a 3-pointer, momentarily slicing North Central’s deficit to 16 points. Whitman countered with an 11-2 run and the Rams drew no closer than 18 points the rest of the way.

The Missionaries took their largest lead of the night at 95-58 with just under three minutes left on the clock.

Whitman completes its non-conference slate next Saturday when it travels to Spokane to play the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

NORTH CENTRAL (40) — Nygaard 0-3 0-0 0, Grilley 3-6 0-0 6, Svoboda 2-7 7-9 11, Young 5-13 0-0 11, P. Johnson 1-4 1-2 3, Terrell 1-1 2-3 4, Faust 0-0 0-0 0, Nurnberger 0-0 0-0 0, Thorpe 0-1 2-4 2, Kooistra 0-2 5-6 5, Roeder 3-12 3-5 9, Risdall 0-1 0-0 0, R.Johnson 6-11 4-6 17. Totals 21-61 24-35 68.

WHITMAN (82) — Shaw 5-7 6 15, Artis 6-13 4-6 19, Michaels 4-5 0-0 8, Thompson 4-9 2-2 10, Clark 4-16 0-0 11, Stone 0-0 0-0 0, Wheeler 4-5 0-1 10, Davidson 1-3 2-2 4, Alvarez 3-7 0-0 8, Adcox 1-1 2-2 5, Raher 3-7 4-4 10. Totals 35-73 19-23 100.

Halftime score —Whitman 50, North Central 31. 3-point goals — North Central 2-9 (Young 1-3, R. Johnson 1-3, Risdall 0-1, Roeder 0-2), Whitman 11-32 (Artis 3-7, Clark 3-14, Wheeler 2-3, Alvarez 2-5, Adcox 1-1, Shaw 0-1, Thompson 0-1). Total fouls—North Central 25, Whitman 30. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none. Rebounds—North Central 46 (Nygaard 6, Kooistra 6), Whitman 47 (Artis 9). Turnovers—North Central 26, Whitman 20. Assists—North Central 7 (Grilley 3), Whitman 11 (Shaw 2, Clark 2, Wheeler 2, Alvarez 2).

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