Whits defeat deficit to win Saturday

Whitman was in a 14-point hole but rallies for an 86-71 win against Linfield.

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WALLA WALLA - Winning for the 11th time in its last 13 games, the Whitman College men's basketball team shook off a 14-point deficit late in the first half and stormed past Linfield for an 86-71 Northwest Conference victory Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

Whitman, now 13-6 on season and 6-4 in the NWC, finishes the weekend in fourth place but just a game out of second.

In snapping a seven-game losing steak to Linfield, Whitman dropped the Wildcats to 8-11 this season and 4-6 in conference.

Juniors David Michaels and Brandon Shaw led a balanced Whitman offense with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Sophomore Peter Clark was next with 12 points followed by senior Justin Artis and sophomore Ignas Pavilonis with 11 points apiece. Freshman Josh Duckworth added to the scoring parade with 10 points.

K.C. Wiser paced Linfield with 29 points. Zach Anderson worked for his second double-double of the season, combining 16 points with 10 rebounds. Sergio Rosario added eight points for the Wildcats.

After recovering from its slow start and trailing by five points at halftime, Whitman pulled even five minutes into the second half when Shaw drove down the lane to knot the score at 50-50.

The Missionaries inched in front 56-55 on two Duckworth free throws with 12 minutes left. Wiser then swapped a pair of 3-point baskets with one each from Pavilonis and Clark. That exchange left Whitman on top 62-61 at the midway point in the half.

Two free throws by freshman Ryan Gilkey and one by Duckworth lengthened the Whitman lead to four points with 7:42 remaining, and the Missionaries stayed in front the rest of the way.

With Whitman leading 73-70, back-to-back treys by Pavilonis and Clark gave the Missionaries a nine-point cushion with four minutes left. The Wildcats managed just one more point in the final minutes.

Whitman fashioned its comeback in part on the strength of its team rebounding. The Missionaries scrambled after 20 offensive rebounds and finished with a 40-34 edge on the backboards. Pavilonis had seven and Gilkey five to lead the way.

Linfield had the run of the floor to start the game, racing to early leads of 7-1, 18-10 and 26-12. They led by 14 points on two more occasions, the last time at 37-23 with five minutes left in the half.

Whitman heads to Tacoma next weekend to play NWC games at Pacific Lutheran at 8 p.m. Friday and Puget Sound at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Whitman 86, Linfield 71

LINFIELD (71) - Hendryx 0-0 0-0 0, Rosario 4-9 0-0 8, Anderson 4-10 6-8 16, Lee 1-3 1-2 3, Wiser 10-17 5-6 29, Dooley 0-0 0-0 0, Lobdell 0-1 0-0 0, Pine 1-2 0-1 2, Moreland 0-0 0-0 0, Teater 0-1 5-6 5, Meikle 2-4 0-0 6, Blume 1-3 0-1 2. Totals 23-50 17-24 71.

WHITMAN (86) - Duckworth 1-6 8-12 10, Artis 3-7 4-4 11, Michaels 6-7 4-4 16, Clark 4-12 0-0 12, Raher 1-3 0-0 3, Shaw 4-9 7-8 15, Dickson 0-3 0-0 0, Pavilonis 4-10 0-0 11, Alvarez 0-1 0-0 0, Wright 0-0 2-2 2, Gilkey 1-4 4-4 6. Totals 24-62 29-34 86.

Halftime score - Linfield 41, Whitman 36. 3-point goals - Linfield 8-17 (Wiser 4-6, Meikle 2-3, Anderson 2-4, Teater 0-1, Rosario 0-3), Whitman 9-31 (Clark 4-11, Pavilonis 3-8, Artis 1-3, Raher 1-3, Duckworth 0-1, Alvarez 0-1, Shaw 0-2, Dickson 0-2). Total fouls-Linfield 25, Whitman 20. Fouled out- Linfield (Meikle). Technical fouls-none. Rebounds- Linfield 35 (Anderson 10), Whitman 42 (Pavilonis 7). Turnovers-Linfield 17, Whitman 9. Assists- Linfield 12 (Wiser 3), Whitman 12 (Clark 3, Shaw 3).

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