Whitworth men shoot way past Whitman

The Pirates shoot 52.9 percent and nail a dozen 3-pointers as they raced to an 81-74 victory over their rivals.

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WALLA WALLA - Shooting 52.9 percent from the floor while knocking down a dozen 3-pointers, Whitworth scrambled past Whitman College, 81-74, in Northwest Conference men's basketball action Tuesday night in Sherwood Center.

Idris Lasisi keyed the offense for 10th-ranked Whitworth with 27 points, although there were four other Pirates scoring in double figures.

Whitman, now 10-5 in the NWC and 17-7 overall, was down by two at intermission but saw that deficit grow to 11 points, 66-55, by the 6:18 mark of the second stanza as the Pirates sharpened their collective shooting eye.

With Whitworth (14-1 NWC, 21-3) ahead 71-61 as the clock slipped under three minutes, the Missionaries made a valiant comeback bid at crunch time.

David Michaels, who triggered the rally with a steal and a dunk, then worked his way inside for another bucket, cutting the Whitworth lead to 71-65.

After Felix Friedt made one of two free throws for the Pirates, Ignas Pavilonis canned a Whitman 3 from the right corner to make it a four-point game with 1:45 left.

Lasisi answered with a fastbreak bucket while drawing a foul on the play. But when he missed the free throw, Michaels rebounded and got the ball into the left corner for Pavilonis, who hit again to draw Whitman within 74-71 with 1:23 remaining.

That's when Lasisi countered with a 3-point dagger at the other end, bursting Whitman's bubble while ballooning the Pirate lead to six.

Whitman misfired on its next two 3-point attempts as Whitworth ran out the clock.

Whitworth was 7-of-11 from the 3-point arc in the second half while making 15-of-22 (68.2 percent) of its field goal attempts overall.

Whitman's Michaels wreaked just as much havoc for the Pirate defense. The 6-foot-7 Missionary forward, the second-leading scorer in the NWC, was 9-of13 from the floor while scoring 24 points and collecting 12 rebounds.

Pavilonis with 11 points was the only other Missionary scoring in double digits, although Ben Eisenhardt and LuQuam Thompson added eight points apiece.

Dustin McConnell gave the Pirates 14 points, while Wade Gebbers had 11. Mack Larkin and Jack Loofburrow chipped in with 10 points apiece.

Whitman, which began the night tied with Puget Sound for second place in the NWC, finishes the regular season at 8 p.m. Friday when Willamette (3-11 NWC, 5-18 overall) comes to Sherwood Center.

Lewis & Clark and Pacific Lutheran (7-7 NWC, 10-13) are the two teams chasing George Fox (8-6 NWC, 11-12) for the fourth and final spot in next week's conference playoffs.

Whitworth 81, Whitman 74

WHITWORTH (81) - Lasisi 10-16 4-5 27; McConnell 4-5 4-4 14; Gebbers 3-6 3-4 11; Larkin 4-7 0-0 10; Loofburrow 3-5 2-3 10; Friedt 2-8 1-3 5; McCargar 1-4 1-2 4; Taylor 0-0 0-0 0; Payne 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-51 15-21 81.

WHITMAN (74) - Michaels 9-13 6-9 24; Pavilonis 4-15 0-0 11; Eisenhardt 4-11 0-0 8; Thompson 1-2 6-9 8; Shaw 2-2 1-2 5; Duckworth 1-6 2-2 4; Raher 0-2 4-4 4; Mounier 0-1 4-4 4; Dickson 1-2 0-0 3; Clark 1-4 0-0 3; Wright 0-0 0-0 0; Gilkey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 23-30 74.

Halftime score - Whitworth 38, Whitman 36; 3-point goals - Whitworth 12-27 (Lasisi 3-8, McConnell 2-3, Loofburrow 2-3, Larkin 2-5, Gebbers 2-5, McCargar 1-2, Friedt 0-1; Whitman 5-27 (Pavilonis 3-14, Dickson 1-2, Clark 1-4, Raher 0-2, Mounier 0-1, Eisenhardt 0-1, Michaels 0-3. Fouled out - none. Rebounds - Whitworth 33 (Friedt 12), Whitman 35 (Michaels 12). Assists - Whitworth 14 (Lasisi 5), Whitman 9 (Duckworth 2, Raher 2, Shaw 2). Total fouls - Whitworth

26, Whitman 21. Technical fouls - none. A - 650.

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