MEN'S BASKETBALL - Missionary men topple UPS

Whitman picks up its first Northwest Conference victory with the 96-86 win Friday night.


WALLA WALLA - Drew Raher completed a 3-point play for Whitman with 14:41 left in the first half here at George Ball Court Friday in Northwest Conference men's basketball action.

Raher's free throw put Whitman up 16-15, and 30 seconds later Peter Clark drained one of his four first-half treys for a 19-15 lead, and Puget Sound never caught up. Whitman went on to post its first NWC win with a 96-86 triumph.

"It was nice to lead for the most part from start to finish," Whitman coach Eric Bridgeland said. "Puget Sound has a great culture and they hit some big shots. For our young team to do that (lead most of the way against UPS) is very impressive."

Raher's 3-point play and Clark's trey sparked a 14-2 Missionary run, and following Clark's triple with 10:56 left in the half, Whitman led 27-17.

Behind 15 points from Clark, 11 from Brandon Shaw, and nine from Raher, Whitman took a 50-37 lead to intermission.

"We just had to fight," Shaw said of the first half. "We knew they would come out and pressure. Our game plan was to attack it (the pressure)."

"We were challenging them and they just kept hitting shots," Bridgeland said of UPS in the first 20 minutes. "To withstand that is a positive."

The Loggers got the lead down to five twice in the second half. Edric Egberuare's spinning, driving layin cut the Missionary lead to 52-47 with 17:50 left.

Buckets from David Michaels and Justin Artis jumped the Whitman lead back to 56-47 with 16:41 left.

Two Aaron Edwards' free throws got the Loggers to within 56-51 with 13:10 left. A Michaels 3-point play, followed by a Josh Duckworth bucket, and Whitman ran it back to a 10-point lead at 61-51 with 12:07 left.

The Loggers cut the lead to six behind an Egberuare bucket at 73-67 with 6:50 left, but Michaels converted a Shaw dish, and Shaw drained a trey for a 76-67 lead with 6 minutes left.

Puget Sound got no closer the rest of the way.

"I just give credit to everybody," Shaw said. "We stayed together. We harp on staying together and playing harder than everyone else, and we'll pull it out eventually."

The Missionaries hit 16-of-27 (59.3 percent) shots from the field over the second half, with 6-foot-7 Michaels leading the way with 11 points in the half.

"They (UPS) are a very good team," Bridgeland said. "Our guys are real competitive and we worked real hard over the break. When you work really hard, you don't want to let that go. I'm very proud of them. They deserve it (the win)."

The Missionaries iced this one at the free-throw line. Whitman hit eight consecutive over the last 2:35 to hold the Loggers at bay. Shaw hit two, Duckworth hit four and Michaels hit two, and a full-length pass from Duckworth to a streaking Artis added the exclamation point for the 96-86 win.

"We've been working on that," Shaw said of the free-throw success. "Coach has been emphasizing it and it's been a focal point."

Kaleb Shelton led the Loggers with a game-high 27 points, but Whitman put six players in double digits.

Shaw and Michaels led the Missionaries with 18 points. Shaw added five assists and Michaels completed a double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds.

Clark scored 15 points, Duckworth added 14, Artis scored 13, and Raher hit for 12 as Whitman improved to 1-2 in NWC play and hosted Pacific Lutheran Saturday.

"We've won six in a row, but really needed that first conference win," Bridgeland said. "We have five of our first seven (conference games) on the road, so these two (at home) are a big deal."


UPS (86) - Edwards 1-4 3-3 5, Rogers 3-9 0-1 9, Egberuare 8-19 2-2 20, Shelton 8-9 8-12 27, Borboa 2-2 1-2 5, Gittens 1-2 1-2 3, Geverola 0-1 0-0 0, Colbert 0-3 0-0 0, Hoff 3-7 2-3 11, Gauff 0-0 0-0 0, Evans 1-2 0-0 2, Yarbo 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 28-60 19-27 86.

WHITMAN (96) - Shaw 6-10 3-5 18, Artis 5-8 2-3 13, Clark 5-8 1-2 15, Raher 4-7 2-2 12, Gilkey 3-8 0-0 6, Dickson 0-2 0-0 0, Duckworth 4-8 6-8 14, Pavilonis 0-5 0-0 0, Michaels 7-10 4-7 18, Alvarez 0-0 0-0 0, Brent 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-67 18-27 96.

Halftime - Whitman 50, UPS 37. 3-point goals - UPS 11-27 (Edwards 0-2, Rogers 3-6, Egberuare 2-6, Shelton 3-3, Colbert 0-2, Hoff 3-7, Evans 0-1), Whit 10-22 (Shaw 3-3, Artis 1-3, Clark 4-6, Raher 2-2, Dickson 0-2, duckworth 0-1, Pavilonis 0-4, Brent 0-1). Total fouls - UPS 25, Whit 21, Fouled out - UPS (Gittens). Technical fouls - Whit (Michaels). Rebounds - UPS 34 (Shelton 6, Rogers 6), Whit 42 (Michaels 11). Turnovers - UPS 18, Whit 13. Assists - UPS 14 (Rogers 5), Whit 10 (Shaw 5).


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