Missionary mens' rallies not enough at EWU

The Missionaries give the Eagles a second-half battle before falling, 100-88, in Cheney Tuesday night.

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CHENEY — With sophomore Brandon Shaw hitting for a game-high 24 points as part of a balanced attack, Whitman College gave Eastern Washington University a good tussle before falling 100-88 here Tuesday night in the Missionary men’s basketball opener.


Eastern Washington, which led 49-30 at halftime, turned back a number of Whitman comeback bids in the second half, improving to 1-2 on the season.


Whitman outscored the NCAA Division I Eagles 16-9 in the first 5:31 of the second stanza to draw within 12 points at 58-46.


Two free throws by Justin Artis at the 9:17 mark kept the Missionaries within striking distance at 70-57, but Eastern Washington responded with nine unanswered points to inflate its lead to 22 points with 6:50 left on the clock.


Down by 17 with four minutes remaining, Whitman made a final charge. After scoring off a layin, Shaw made a steal that led to an offensive rebound putback by Daniel Davidson. That sliced the Eagle lead to 87-74 with 3:22 left.


With just over a minute remaining, Brady Brent hit a 3-pointer to pull the Missionaries to within 10 points at 94-84. Eastern Washington countered with two free throws and the two sides played out the closing seconds.


In addition to his 24 points, Shaw picked off five steals to go with four assists and four rebounds.


Drew Raher, one of several first-year players on the Whitman roster, added 12 points and five boards off the bench. Whitman also got 11 points from Justin Artis and 10 points apiece from Daniel Davidson and David Michaels.


Peter Clark and LuQuam Thompson each added eight points to the Missionary scoring column.


Brandon Moore, a 6-foot-9 senior, sparked the Eagles with 19 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots. Eastern Washington outrebounded the smaller Missionaries 54-35, but Whitman finished with a total of 15 steals while pressuring the home team into 30 turnovers.


Two more Eagle seniors, 5-foot-7 Benny Valentine and 6-foot-8 Mark Dunn, scored 23 and 21 points, respectively.


Whitman returns home to host the four-team Walla Walla Vineyard Inn/Bon Appetit Classic this Friday and Saturday in Sherwood Center.


The Missionaries will play at 8 p.m. both nights, starting with Portland Bible College on Friday. William Jessup University of Rockland, Calif., is Saturday’s opponent.


Lewis Clark College, one of Whitman’s Northwest Conference rivals, is the fourth team in the tournament.


The men’s tournament will run in conjunction with the Kim Evanger Raney Memorial Classic, hosted the same two days by the Whitman women’s team.


The Whitman women play at 6 p.m. both days, starting with Macalester College of St. Paul, Minn., on Friday. The Missionaries battle Lewis-Clark State on Saturday.


Whitworth University, also an NWC school, is the fourth team in the women’s tournament.

WHITMAN (88) — Davidson 3-5 3-4 10, Clark 2-11 2-2 8, Shaw 8-19 8-10 24, Artis 4-7 3-4 11, Thompson 2-10 4-6 8, Michaels 2-4 6-7 10, Adcox 0-0 2-2 2, Brent 1-6 0-0 3, Brandon 0-2 0-0 0, Raher 5-11 2-2 12. Totals 27-75 30-37 88.
EASTERN WASHINGTON (100) — Gibbs 3-6 0-1 6, Dunn 7-12 7-8 21, Moore 5-7 9-12 19, Dean 0-2 2-2 2, Forbes 4-11 2-2 11, Valentine 6-14 10-12 23, Griffin 5-7 0-0 10, Demissie 2-5 4-5 8. Totals 32-64 34-42 100.
Halftime — EWU 49, Whitman 30. 3-point goals — Whitman 4-23 (Davidson 1-2, Clark 2-9, Shaw 0-3, Artis 0-1, Thompson 0-1, Brady 1-5, Raher 0-2), EWU 2-15 (Dunn 0-1, Dean 0-1, Forbes 1-5, Valentine 1-5, Demissie 0-3). Total fouls — Whitman 30, EWU 26. Fouled out — Whitman (Raher); EWU (Griffin). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — EWU 54 (Moore 19), Whitman 35 (Raher 5). Turnovers — EWU 30, Whitman 19. Assists — EWU 21 (Valentine 7), Whitman 10 (Shaw 4).


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