Pioneers' zone stymies Missionary men

Lewis & Clark suffocating defense is too much for Whitman to overcome in the victory

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Whitman College's Brandon Shaw (3) weaves through three Lewis & Clark defenders en route to the basket during the second half of the Missionaries' game against the Pioneers.

WALLA WALLA — Too little, too late was the Whitman story Friday at Sherwood Center’s George Ball Court in a men’s Northwest Conference basketball game.

Whitman scored 26 of its 39 second-half points in the last 6:40 of the game, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Lewis and Clark.

The Pioneers, behind a suffocating zone defense, jumped to a 44-27 lead midway through the second half. The Pioneers slowed it down from there and withstood the Missionaries late flurry to earn a 68-62 win.

David Michaels made a spinning layin and added a free throw with 2:16 left in the first half as the Missionaries gained their last lead of the night at 23-22.

The Pioneers responded, behind treys from PJ Taylor and Josh Kollasch and closed out the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 30-23 lead to intermission.

L&C applied a zone stranglehold on the Missionaries to open the second half. Whitman went a little over three minutes without scoring before Jordan Brandon’s bucket broke the ice at the 16:46 mark. LuQuam Thompson added a bucket a minute later and Whitman was still in touch, trailing 36-27 with 15:35 to play.

That zone continued to stymie the Missionaries as Whitman couldn’t break through again until Brandon scored on a dish from Brandon Shaw with 9:55 to play to cut the Pioneer lead to 44-29.

"They are really good," Whitman coach Eric Bridgeland said of the Pioneers. "They have three of the best players in the conference. It’s tough for us to get after them with the numbers we have."

Whitman hit only three of its first 15 shots from the floor in the second half and dug a hole it couldn’t escape.

A Justin Artis 3 got the Missionaries within 11 at 47-36 with 7:52 to play, then Thompson took over.

Thompson, behind two treys, scored 14 of his team-leading 19 points over the last 6:36, and Shaw scored six of his 12 over the last 1:11, but the Pioneers hit six consecutive free throws — two from Kollasch and four from Kelly Edwards — over the last minute to survive the barrage and take the win.

Kollasch led the Pioneers with 19 points and six assists. Hollins chipped in 14 points and Taylor added 13 as L&C improved to 5-4 in NWC play.

"They’re playing really well (behind) those three really good guards they have, and we don’t have the numbers to keep the pressure on," Bridgeland said. "Credit goes to Lewis and Clark. We were outhustled, outplayed, and outcoached — the whole deal."

Whitman dropped to 3-6 in conference and hosted Willamette Saturday.

LEWIS & CLARK (68) — Taylor 5-11 0-0 13, Meeuwsen 1-2 2-2 4, Kollasch 7-13 2-3 19, Hollins 6-12 1-2 14, Edwards 2-6 4-4 8, Pisapia 2-5 0-0 4, Brickley 1-1 1-2 4, McCollough 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 24-51 12-15 68.

WHITMAN (62) — Shaw 6-12 0-0 12, Davidson 0-8 1-2 1, Artis 3-9 0-1 7, Michaels 2-2 1-1 5, Thompson 7-14 2-2 19, Stone 0-0 0-0 0, Wheeler 2-7 0-0 4, Alvarez 0-0 0-0 0, Adcox 2-2 0-1 4, Brandon 2-3 0-0 4, Clark 2-11 0-0 6. Totals 26-68 4-7 62.

Halftime —L&C 30, Whitman 23. 3-point goals — L&C 8-21 (Taylor 3-8, Meeuwsen 0-1, Kollasch 3-5, Hollins 1-4, Pisapia 0-2, Brickley 1-1), Whitman 6-29 (Shaw 0-2, Davidson 0-3, Artis 1-6, Thompson 3-6, Wheeler 0-2, Clark 2-10). Total fouls — L&C 15, Whitman 17. Fouled out — L&C (Hollins), Whitman (Artis). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — L&C 38 (Hollins 8), Whitman 35 (Wheeler 8). Turnovers — L&C 12, Whitman 8, Assists—L&C 15 (Kollasch 6), Whitman 8 (Wheeler 4).

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