COLLEGE PLACE - Walla Walla University missed a chance to capitalize on short-handed Portland Bible College in a 75-61 men's basketball loss Tuesday.
The Wolves found themselves down 35-5 early in the first half and couldn't come back from the hole, eventually falling to the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association Wildcats.
Just five players hit the court for Portland, but the fresher Wolves, with 10 men playing, couldn't compete with the Wildcats.
"It was a terrible game," said WWU head coach Gerry Larson. "It was against a team we know we should beat. It was probably the worst I've seen a team play that I've been involved with."
Although the Wolves outstole the Wildcats, taking 10 grabs to six, the Wildcats won the battle of the boards with 30 rebounds to WWU's 21.
"Our game plan was to get them into foul trouble, and they couldn't afford to foul us," Larson said. "For whatever reason, that game plan went out the window and we failed to execute. ... It just wasn't a clinic in execution by any means."
The Wildcats, whose five players couldn't afford foul trouble, were content to sit at halfcourt and wait.
"They tried to stall a lot," Larson said. "They wanted to hold it and not shoot it, so we had to get out and pressure them. That opened opportunities for them to drive to the basket, so they took advantage of us trying to speed it up.
"It's tough to come back when a team is willing to sit on the ball."
Although the Wolves were down quickly, they scraped together a comeback and ended the half down 15 points.
"We had a real nice run at the end of the first and we had momentum," Larson said. "But we came back at the beginning of the second and layed and egg. We turned it over a couple times and missed shots, and lost all the momentum."
Jeremee Tyler and Tim Mahan had three 3s apiece for the Wildcats, and many of them came in close contact as the Wolves tried to force turnovers.
"One guy made his 3s with a hand literally on his nose," Larson said. "He couldn't have had less space. We had guys help a little on him ... But that let a couple other guys loose."
Josh Henderson and Jordan Stimmel both fouled out late in the game after trying to force Portland fouls.
Henderson had nine points and Stimmel six.
WWU was led by Bryce Doherty's 14 and Taylor Lewis' 13.
Juston Coleman had a double-double for the Wildcats, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 boards. Tyler had a team-high 21 points.
The Wolves are 0-17 on the season. They play Thursday at West Coast Baptist in Lancaster, Calif.
The Wolves defeated West Coast Baptist twice last year, Larson said.
Portland 75, WWU 61
PORTLAND (75) - Peters 1-3 3-4 5, Tyler 8-10 2-2 21, Coleman 5-9 2-5 10, Cochran 6-9 5-7 17, Mahan 6-12 5-6 20, Hutley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-44 17-24 75.
WWU - Doherty 6-11 1-1 14, Henderson 4-8 0-0 9, Stimmel 2-7 0-0 6, Greenridge 4-13 1-2 9, Bailey 4-8 0-0 13, Lewis 3-7 4-4 9, Abdul-Karim 0-1 0-0 0, Marshall 0-0 0-0 0, Creasey 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 24-57 6-7 61.
Halftime score - Portland 36, WWU 21. 3-point goals - Portland 6 (Tyler 3), WWU 7 (Lewis 3). Total fouls - Portland 7, WWU 21. Fouled out - WWU 2 (Henderson, Stimmel). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Portland 30 (Coleman 15), WWU 16 (Greenridge 8). Turnovers - Portland 18, WWU 13. Assists - Portland 12 (Cochran 6), WWU 12 (Greenridge 5).