Whits win battle of streaks against George Fox men

In a game in which the opposing teams take turns on the attack, the Missionary men make the final run.



Whitman College's David Michael (left) and Max Adcox, looking to put another W in the standings, apply the pressure to George Fox's Rich Smith during Friday night's Northwest Conference men's basketball game at Sherwood Center. Michael, Adcox and the Missionaries got the job done with a 90-85 victory over the visiting Bruins.

WALLA WALLA — What has more streaks than a jug of imitation Windex? Or the windows of a mini-van well within reach of Happy Meal-munching toddlers?

The men’s basketball contest between Whitman College and George Fox University, that’s what.

Fortunately for the Whitman Missionaries, the last streak belonged to them, as they held on to beat the visiting Bruins 90-85 in a Northwest Conference game at Sherwood Center’s George Ball Court.

"It was a game of runs, but they made plays down at the end," George Fox coach Mark Sundquist said. "Justin Artis was huge for them tonight. So was (Brandon) Shaw.

"They got to every 50-50 ball tonight, and I think that was the difference."

Shaw finished the game with 23 points and four of Whitman’s 15 steals. Artis followed closely in scoring with 20.

The Bruins were led by Rich Smith’s 23 points and 12 rebounds.

"George Fox is really good, and they were on a roll. They opened up conference 2-0," Whitman coach Eric Bridgeland said. "They’ve got six or seven seniors. It was our underclassmen against their upperclassmen, and for our guys to pull through in a tight game — when you’ve got three or four freshmen and a couple sophomores on the floor — that’s pretty good."

Whitman started the night’s streaks with a 12-2 first-half spurt that built an early 14-7 lead. George Fox diminished that deficit to 24-22 at the 8:40 mark, but Whitman responded with another burst to lead 36-28 with 4:01 remaining. The Bruins rallied again to close the gap to one at half, 42-41.

The Bruins retook the lead at 43-42, with their first shot of the second, but could not pull away. The Bruins’ last lead came at 47-46 with 18:34 on the clock.

Whitman embarked on its longest streak of the night one minute later with the scored tied 49-all. The Missionaries used the next eight minutes to bolt to a 16-point advantage, 74-58, courtesy of a 25-9 streak capped by a Brady Brent 3-pointer.

Uncle Mo shifted back to the Bruins when starting point guard Stephen Wiseley returned to the floor saddled with four fouls. With nifty pass fakes that left more than one Missionary corkscrewed in his shoes and hopelessly out of position, the 5-foot-9 Bruin slashed for two driving layins and fired up two treys, creating his own personal 10-1 run before fouling out at the 7:20 mark.

Without Wiseley, the Bruins continued the run, finally pulling into an 81-81 tie. Whitman retook the lead at 83-81 on two free throws by David Michaels, but the Bruins tied it up again at 83 on a Jack Martin layup at 1:35. The Bruins then got the stop they needed on a Shaw miss, but Fox’s Evan Atwater was stripped of the rebound giving Whitman another possession.

That’s when Justin Artis came up big, hitting a 3-pointer from the right wing. After a George Fox miss at the other end, the Bruins turned to fouling and the Missionaries were able to ice the game from the free throw line.

One telling stat was turnover margin, which the Bruins lost to the Missionaries 33-17.

"We weren’t making good decisions with the basketball, and they (Whitman) were flying around," Sundquist said. "I thought (Whitman) gave a better effort tonight. To beat them on their floor, you’ve got to play 40 minutes of hard-nosed basketball and we didn’t do that.

"We knew it was not going to be an easy game. It was going to go to the very end," said Bridgeland. "We found a way to win it."

Whitman moved to 8-4 overall and 2-1 in conference. George Fox fell to 5-7, 2-1. Whitman hosted Pacific Saturday. George Fox traveled to Whitworth.

GEORGE FOX (85) — Wiseley 6-7 0-0 14, Lingenfelder 2-3 0-0 6, Atwater 5-7 0-0 11, Stockner 6-13 5-8 18, Smith 9-16 3-5 23, Martin 4-7 0-0 8, Whitehurst 0-1 2-4 2, Vahalla 0-3 0-0 0, Toedtemeier 1-1 1-1 3. Totals 33-58 10-17 85.

WHITMAN (90) — Shaw 7-15 8-13 23, Artis 6-9 4-6 20, Michaels 3-7 4-4 10, Thompson 2-8 3-6 9, Clark 1-5 0-0 3, Stone 0-0 0-0 0, Wheeler 2-3 3-3 8, Davidson 3-5 1-1 8, Alvarez 0-0 0-0 0, Adcox 0-2 0-0 0, Brent 2-5 0-0 6, Brandon 0-1 0-0 0, Raher 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 27-62 23-33 90.

Halftime — Whitman 42, George Fox 41. 3-point goals — GF 9-16 (Wisely 2-3, Lingenfelder 2-2, Atwater 1-1, Stockner 1-3, Smith 2-4, Martin 0-2, Toedtemeier 1-1), Whitman 13-21 (Shaw 1-2, Artis 4-5, Michaels 0-1, Thompson 2-2, Clark 1-3, Wheeler 1-1, Davidson 1-1, Adcox 0-2, Brent 2-2, Raher 1-2). Total fouls — GF 27, Whitman 21. Fouled out — GF (Wiseley, Stockner), Whitman (Michaels). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — GF 43 (Smith 12), Whitman 25 (Michaels 3). Turnovers — GF 33, Whitman 17. Assists — GF 19 (Atwater 5), Whitman 13 (Thompson 5).


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