WALLA WALLA - Pushing its high-pressure game into high gear in the first half, the Whitman College men's basketball team raced to a 49-22 lead at the break and coasted home for a 94-65 victory over Pacific University Saturday night in Sherwood Center.
Winning for the ninth time in 11 games, Whitman improved to 11-6 on the season and evened its Northwest Conference slate at 4-4.
Pacific, dropping its fifth straight game, slipped to 3-14 overall and 2-6 in the NWC.
With the scored tied at 4-4 after the first two minutes, Whitman clicked off 14 unanswered points to lead 16-4 with 13:51 left in the half.
Sophomore Peter Clark keyed the early run with a pair of 3-point strikes. After a three by sophomore Ignas Pavilonis made it 21-6, freshman Seth Brent put back an offensive rebound and then grabbed a defensive rebound at the other end after having been knocked to the floor.
Brent's outlet pass from the seat of his pants triggered a fast break that Clark finished with another 3-point bomb. That ballooned the Missionary lead to 26-6 with 10-plus minutes still left in the half.
Pacific finally broke into double digits in the scoring column when LeMar Anglin made a layin with six minutes remaining, momentarily cutting the Boxer deficit to 35-11.
Whitman took its biggest lead of the half at 49-16 when Clark swished a free throw with 1:31 on the clock. The Boxers scored the last six points to trail by 27 points at intermission.
With the pace of the game waning a bit in the second half, Pacific sharpened its shooting eye but drew no closer than 21 points when Adam McElwee hit a three with 11 minutes left. Whitman responded with a Brandon Shaw free throw and two more 3-pointers, one by Clark and one by Pavilonis.
A dozen Missionaries made the scoring column by game's end, led by a career-high 21 points from Clark, who had 16 points at halftime after making five of seven 3-point tries in the first 20 minutes.
Pavilonis and freshman Josh Duckworth added 11 points apiece. Duckworth also handed out seven assists.
Shaw finished with nine points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. Junior David Michaels and sophomore Drew Raher chipped in with nine points each and combined for 11 rebounds.
Whitman also got eight points and four rebounds from freshman Ryan Gilkey, and Brent pulled down nine rebounds.
As a team, Whitman shot 48.5 percent from the floor in the opening half and forced the Boxers into a 26.9 percent shooting performance riddled with 14 turnovers. The Missionaries finished at even 50 percent from the field for the game and won the rebounding battle 36-31.
Anglin paced Pacific with 18 points and nine rebounds. Adam McElwee connected four times from the 3-point line in scoring 15 points. Andrew Beatty was good for 10 points and five assists.
Whitman stays at home for two more NWC games next weekend.
The Missionaries host Lewis & Clark on Friday and Linfield on Saturday. Both games start at 8 p.m. in Sherwood Center.
Whitman 94, Pacific 65
PACIFIC (65) - Bartlett 3-6 0-2 6, Wester 2-7 2-2 6, Beatty 3-7 3-3 10, Anglin 5-11 8-12 18, Haugen 0-0 0-0 0, Hayes 2-4 0-0 4, McElwee 5-10 1-1 15, Kienlen 2-3 0-0 6, Hurley 0-2 0-0 0, Mosley 0-1 0-0 0, Babek 0-1 0-0 0. Totals - 22-52 14-20 65
WHITMAN (94) - Shaw 3-4 3-4 9, Duckworth 3-8 5-6 11, Artis 2-3 0-0 4, Michaels 3-5 3-4 9, Raher 2-7 4-4 9, Dickson 1-3 0-0 3, Pavilonis 4-8 3-6 11, Alvarez 0-1 0-0 0, Guisness 1-2 0-0 2, Wright 0-0 3-4 3, Brent 2-5 0-1 4, Clark 7-12 1-2 21, Gilkey 3-4 2-2 8. Totals - 31-62 21-27 94.
Halftime score Whitman 49, Pacific 22
3-point goals - Whitman 11-27 (Raher, Dickson, Pavilonis 3, Clark 6), Pacific 7-16 (Beatty, McElwee 4, Kienlen 2). Total fouls - Pacific 23, Whitman 17. Fouled out - Pacific (Wester). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Whitman 36 (Brent 9), Pacific 31 (Anglin 9). Turnovers - Pacific 22, Whitman 10. Assists - Whitman 17 (Shaw 7, Duckworth 7), Pacific 8 (Beatty 5).