PENDLETON - Despite another off night shooting, Walla Walla outscored Blue Mountain by 10 points from the free-throw line and pulled out a 66-63 victory in a men's NWAACC Eastern Division basketball game here Wednesday.
"We were a little bit better than we were Saturday (a 66-51 home loss to Columbia Basin)," Warriors coach Jeff Reinland assessed. "But our shooting woes are kind of continuing."
The Warriors were 19-for-68 (28 percent) overall and 5-for-36 (14 percent) from beyond the 3-point line in their loss to the Hawks. They sank 22-of-65 (34 percent) for the game and 5-of-26 (19 percent) from outside the arc in beating the Timberwolves.
"We had a lot of good looks," Reinland said of Wednesday's game. "We could break some games open if we could just get the ball in the hole, but it's just not falling for us."
The coach isn't particularly pleased with his team's free-throw shooting, either. But the Walla Wallans managed to get themselves to the line 29 times and made 17 of their attempts while Blue Mountain was 7-for-9 from the stripe.
"We're struggline from the line, too," Reinland said. "We worked hard in practice at getting the ball inside, and a couple of our guys did a good job of getting the ball to the rack. We kept getting fouled and we kept making one-out-of-two, one-out-of-two.
"We were fortunate that there was a big free-throw discrepancy."
Freshman guard Dyland Radliff was Walla Walla's primary offensive weapon. He knocked down 8-of-13 shots from the floor, including two of the Warriors' five 3s, and was 6-for-8 from the line for 24 points. Sophomore Dallen Bills was also effective inside and was WWCC's only other double-figure scorer with 13 points.
At the other end of the court, the Warriors played staunch defense throughout, limiting the Timberwolves to 63 points and forcing 18 turnovers.
"This is arguably the best defensive team I have ever coached," Reinland said. "Mac Stannard, Michael Crane and Dallen Bills are all what I consider great defenders, and so is Colton Arias when we bring him off the bench. We have four guys who are stoppers and several others that I would call good defenders."
Nevertheless, the Timberwolves' Ryun Strand punished the Warriors with a 24-point night that included an 11-for-17 shooting performance from the floor.
"He got a good piece of us," Reinland said. "He's a 6-foot-6 kid who is a good athlete with a nice mid-range jump shot. He was able to elevate and shoot over the top."
The Warriors led by four points at halftime, 32-28, and then fell behind by as many as seven points in the second half. But they regained the upper hand with about four minutes to play and protected their lead down the stretch with free throws.
The Warriors evened their East Division record at 1-1 and improved to 10-5 overall. They host Treasure Valley Saturday afternoon at 4.
Blue Mountain takes an 0-2 division record and a 4-8 overall mark to Pasco Saturday for a division game against Columbia Basin.
Walla Walla 66, Blue Mountain 93
WALLA WALLA (66) - Crane 3-11 2-4 8, Radliff 8-13 6-8 24, Payne 0-9 1-2 1, Stannard 2-5 2-2 7, Bravard 2-6 0-2 5, Bills 4-11 5-9 13, Hahn 2-7 0-0 4, Arias 1-3 1-2 4. Totals 22-65 17-29 66.
BLUE MOUNTAIN (93) - Burt 5-10 0-0 11, Johnson 3-3 1-2 8, Hermann 0-0 0-0 0, Davis 3-9 0-0 6, Strand 11-17 2-2 24, Walker 0-4 2-2 2, Adams 0-2 0-0 0, Peisner 5-8 2-3 12. Totals 27-53 7-9 63.
Halftime - WWCC 32, BMCC 28. 3-point goals - WWCC 5-26 (Crane 0-3, Radliff 2-5, Payne 0-7, Stannard 1-2, Bravard 1-4, Hahn 0-3, Arias 1-2), BMCC 2-9 (Burt 1-4, Johnson 1-1, Strand 0-1, Walker 0-1, Adams 0-2). Total fouls - BMCC 19, WWCC 13. Fouled out - WWCC (Bills), BMCC (Walker). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - WWCC 37 (Bills 8), BMCC 37 (Strand 9). Turnovers - BMCC 18, WWCC 10. Assists - BMCC 13 (Davis 7), WWCC 10 (Radliff 3, Bills 3).