WALLA WALLA - After taking charge with a 17-2 first-half scoring spurt, Whitman College led by as many as 18 points in the second half before finishing off a 68-56 men's basketball victory over U.C.-Santa Cruz Saturday night in Sherwood Center.
Whitman, squaring its early season record at 1-1, got 12 points apiece from sophomores Josh Duckworth and Jordan Dickson and 11 points each from seniors David Shaw and Brandon Shaw.
Nary a single Banana Slug scored in doubles figures, although Spencer Wells, Brent Jacobs and James Townsend all tallied nine points for the visitors.
UCSC, now 0-3 on the season, trailed by as many 14 points in the first half but drew within 33-23 by intermission.
Dickson's 3-pointer staked Whitman to a 45-27 lead at the 14:14 mark of the second half, and Shaw's jumper a few minutes later restored the 18-point Missionary bulge.
The Banana Slugs refused to go quietly, even after Duckworth's free throw with 1:31 remaining left them on the short end of a 68-52 count. Townsend floated in a pair of jumpers over the final 70 seconds to finish the scoring.
The Missionaries, who shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half, made 11 steals on the night while forcing 22 UCSC turnovers.
The Banana Slugs won the rebounding battle 37-31, but Michaels pulled down a game-high nine boards for Whitman to just miss a double-double. The active 6-foot-7 forward also picked off three steals and blocked two shots.
Dickson came off the Missionary bench to drill four of his seven 3-point attempts.
Whitman also got seven points, three assists and two steals from sophomore LuQuam Thompson, six points from sophomore Ryan Gilkey and five points, three rebounds and a bunch of hustle plays from junior Drew Raher.
UCSC's two previous losses came at the hands of Whitworth and NCAA Division I U.C.-Davis.
The Banana Slugs got off to quick start against Whitman, grabbing a 7-3 lead after four minutes.
With UCSC leading 9-8, two baskets by Shaw, two free throws by senior J.P. Alvarez and a Gilkey jumper triggered Whitman's 17-2 explosion.
Dickson, Duckworth and Thompson then finished the run with 3-point bombs, giving the Missionaries a 25-11 lead with 6:25 left in the opening half.
The Banana Slugs trimmed their deficit to four points, 27-23, with 2:57 remaining before Whitman finished the half with two Raher free throws, an offensive rebound putback by Duckworth and two more free throws by senior D.J. Wright.
Whitman returns to non-conference action next Friday and Saturday with neutral-site games against Chapman and Cal Lutheran at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Calif. Both of those games are slated for noon starts.
UCSC stays in the area Sunday for a 6 p.m. game against Walla Walla University in College Place.
WHITMAN COLLEGE 68, UC-SANTA CRUZ 56
UC-SANTA CRUZ (0-2) - Wells, Spencer 3-6 0-0 9; Hunt, Tyler 4-7 1-2 9; Townsend, James 4-7 1-5 9;
Jacobs, Brent 4-8 0-0 8; Jones, Jamien 3-6 0-0 6; Mohri, Nathan 2-7 2-2 6;
Allen, Samuel 0-5 4-4 4; Reeves, Trent 1-4 0-0 3; Konopelski, Kevin 1-6 0-0
2; Arnwine, Marshal 0-1 0-0 0; White, Brad 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-57 8-13 56.
WHITMAN COLLEGE (0-1) - Dickson, Jordan 4-7 0-0 12; Duckworth, Josh 4-8 3-6 12; Shaw, Brandon 4-4
3-6 11; Michaels, David 4-8 2-2 11; Thompson, LuQuam 2-5 2-4 7; Gilkey, Ryan
2-5 2-2 6; Raher, Drew 1-3 3-4 5; Alvarez, Juan Pablo 0-0 2-2 2; Wright,
D.J. 0-0 2-2 2; Clark, Peter 0-7 0-0 0; Drewry, Kai 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-48
Halftime - Whitman 33-23. 3-point goals--UC-Santa Cruz 4-16 (Wells, Spencer 3-4; Reeves, Trent 1-3;
Mohri, Nathan 0-1; Allen, Samuel 0-3; Konopelski, Kevin 0-3; Arnwine,
Marshal 0-1; Hunt, Tyler 0-1), Whitman College 7-23 (Dickson, Jordan 4-7;
Michaels, David 1-3; Duckworth, Josh 1-3; Thompson, LuQuam 1-1; Clark, Peter
0-7; Drewry, Kai 0-1; Raher, Drew 0-1). Fouled out--UC-Santa Cruz-None,
Whitman College-None. Rebounds--UC-Santa Cruz 38 (Jones, Jamien 8), Whitman
College 31 (Michaels, David 9). Assists--UC-Santa Cruz 15 (Reeves, Trent 5),
Whitman College 8 (Thompson, LuQuam 3). Total fouls--UC-Santa Cruz 23,
Whitman College 16. Technical fouls--UC-Santa Cruz-None, Whitman