Whits finish off Northwestern College

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SPOKANE - Overwhelming Minnesota's Northwestern College 23-4 run to start the game, Whitman College kept up the pressure and finished off a 93-67 men's basketball victory Saturday night in Spokane.

Whitman, improving to 6-2 on the season, led 52-25 at halftime and took its biggest lead of the night at 65-29 early in the second half.

Northwestern, which has won nine of the last 11 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference titles, saw its record fall to 5-5.

While Northwestern returns to the Whitworth University gym to play the Pirates at 4 p.m. today, Whitman heads to San Antonio, Texas, early next week for tournament games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Whitman took charge at the outset of Saturday's game, getting a jumper from senior Brandon Shaw, steal and layup by senior David Michaels and 3-pointer by junior Peter Clark for an early 7-0 lead.

Michaels added four three throws, sophomore Josh Duckworth popped a jumper and Whitman was off and running with an 11-2 cushion after four minutes of play.

Ignas Pavilonis, Jordan Dickson and newcomer Ben Eisenhardt - a 6-foot-10 sophomore transfer from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - followed with a trio of 3-point strikes to finish Whitman's 23-4 game-opening romp.

The Missionaries didn't miss much in the first half, making nine of 13 three-point attempts while shooting 51.4 percent from the floor overall.

Northwestern opened the second half with two quick buckets, but that only seemed to awaken the sleeping giants clad in Whitman uniforms on this particular Saturday evening.

Michaels responded with a jumper and 3-point bomb, triggering a 13-0 Missionary run that included Shaw's 3-point play in the paint, Clark's 3-pointer and a steal and fast-break layin by sophomore LuQuam Thompson.

That staked Whitman to an imposing 36-point (65-29) spread - it's largest lead of the night - with 16 minutes left to play.

By the time the game was over, Whitman had sent all 18 of its players onto the court, and 12 of them scored.

Michaels led the way with 17 points and four steals in just 23 minutes. Clark made five of six 3-point shots for 15 points, while Shaw was six of eight from the floor (two of two from 3-point) en route to 15 points and three assists.

Whitman got nine points from freshman Matt Mounier and seven points apiece from Duckworth and Eisenhardt. Duckworth handed out five assists.

Pavilonis and Thompson chipped with six points apiece in limited minutes. Two Missionaries not scoring were junior Drew Raher, who grabbed a team-high five rebounds, and senior D.J. Wright, who swiped four steals to go with three boards.

Wade Chitwood, who led Northwestern with 29 points, is one of two returning starters from a team that went 21-7 last season and lost to eventual NCAA DIII national champ St. Thomas in regional tournament action.

Kory Kiekoefer added 11 points and six points for Northwestern on Saturday. Ethan Benton finished with 10 points.

Whitman battled Northwestern to a 34-34 stalemate on the backboards and pestered the Eagles into 25 turnovers. Pavilonis had three of 14 Missionary steals.

NORTHWESTERN (67) - Gisler 2-9 0-0 5, Benton 4-7 2-2 10, Jefferson 2-3 0-1 7, Reep 0-0 0-0 2, Chitwood 12-18 4-4 29, Libby 0-3 0-0 0, Kiekoefer 3-5 5-6 11, Kettenacker 0-1 2-2 2, Westberg 2-2 0-0 6, Shepard 0-1 0-0 0, Apgar 0-0 0-2 0. Totals - 25-49 13-17 67.

WHITMAN (93) - Michaels 6-12 4-4 17, Clark 5-6 0-0 15, Raher 0-3 0-0 0, Shaw 6-8 1-1 15, Duckworth 3-8 1-2 7, Mounier 4-7 0-0 9, Eisenhardt 3-9 0-2 7, Dickson 1-2 0-0 3, Callahan 0-0 0-0 0, Pavilonis 2-8 0-0 6, Galiardi 0-0 0-0 0, Alvarez 1-2 0-0 3, Drewry 0-0 0-0 0, Durham 0-0 0-0 0, Wright 0-0 0-2 0, Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Thompson 2-3 0-0 5, Gilkey 2-5 2-2 6.

Halftime score - Whitman 52, Northwestern 25

3-point goals - Whitman 14-26 (Michaels, Clark 5, Shaw 2, Mounier, Eisenhardt, Pavilonis 2, Thompson), NW 4-18 (Gisler, Chitwood, Westberg 2). Total fouls-Whitman 15, NW 13. Fouled out- Whitman (Eisenhardt), NW (none). Technical fouls-none. Rebounds-Whitman 34 (Raher 5), NW 34 (Jefferson 8). Turnovers-NW 25, Whitman 9. Assists-Whitman 16 (Duckworth 5), NW (Chitwood 3, Libby 3).

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