Whitman men hand No. 3 Whitworth first NWC setback

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WALLA WALLA — Whitman College pinned nationally No. 3-ranked Whitworth University with its first Northwest Conference defeat of the men’s basketball season Tuesday night at Sherwood Center.

NWC men's standings

League Overall

W L W L

Whitworth 12 1 20 2

Whitman 9 4 15 7

George Fox 8 4 13 8

Lewis & Clark 7 5 13 8

Pacific 6 6 12 9

Willamette 4 8 7 14

Pacific Lutheran 4 8 6 15

Puget Sound 3 9 8 13

Linfield 2 10 3 18

Tuesday’s Games

Whitman 93, Whitworth 90 (OT)

Pacific 80, Willamette 60

Friday’s Games

George Fox at Whitman, 8 p.m.

Pacific at Linfield, 8 p.m.

Pacific Lutheran at Willamette, 8 p.m.

Lewis & Clark at Puget Sound, 8 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Willamette at Lewis & Clark, 8 p.m.

Pacific Lutheran at Pacific, 8 p.m.

George Fox at Whitworth, 8 p.m.

Linfield at Puget Sound, 8 p.m.

Coming from behind in the second half for the second consecutive game, the Missionaries defeated the Pirates 93-90 in overtime and moved into second place in the conference standings, a half-a-game ahead of George Fox.

The Bruins, who were idle Tuesday, invade Sherwood Center Friday night for a huge NWC clash before moving up to Spokane to take on Whitworth Saturday night.

Tuesday night’s Whitman victory snapped a 20-game Whitworth winning streak and avenged a 112-100 double-overtime defeat the Missionaries suffered Jan. 8 in Spokane.

Whitworth now stands 12-1 in NWC play and 20-2 overall while Whitman improved its league mark to 9-4 and is 15-7 for the season.

George Fox is 8-4 in league play and 13-8 for the season.

The Pirates led for most of Tuesday’s game, owning nine-point advantages twice in the second half.

But the Missionaries never lost contact and closed to within two points, 70-68, when sophomore forward Matt Mounier hit a deep 3 with just a few minutes to play in regulation

With over a minute left on the clock, Whitworth’s Taylor Farnsworth picked up his fifth foul, plus a technical, with the Pirates leading 74–70.

Mounier, who scored a career-high 26 points, sank the two technicals and Drew Raher sank two foul shots, tying the game at 74.

Whitworth’s Colton McCargar followed up his own miss to give the Bucs a two-point edge, but Mounier responded with a driving layup with 4.7 seconds on the clock that knotted the score at 76-all.

Whitworth got off a desperation shot at the buzzer that was off the mark and sent the game into overtime.

In the extra period, the energized Whits got a trey from Raher and a deep 3 from Mounier to take an 81–79 lead. The cushion grew to 88–81 when Ben Eisenhardt converted a layup with 1:04 remaining.

Whitworth tried to rally, but Whitman hit 5-of-6 from the line — Raher sinking the last two with 14.8 seconds left ­— to give Whitman a 93–87 lead.

“Our guys kept fighting, and we found a way at the end,” Whitman coach Eric Bridgeland said.

Whitworth got a game-high 30 points from senior guard Wade Gebbers, who was deadly from beyond the arc, nailing 8-of-12, and 16 points from McCargar and 14 from Farnsworth.

Raher drilled three 3-pointers and was a second Missionary to enjoy a career night with 23 points.

“He’s really been working hard on his shot the last three weeks, and it shows” Bridgeland said. “When he has an open look, the shot goes down.”

Whitworth, which has already clinched a share of the NWC title, will try to seal the deal on its fourth consecutive league championship when the Pirates entertain George Fox Saturday night. By then, Whitman hopes to have a firmer grip on second place with a victory over the Bruins on Friday.

The box score for Tuesday’s game was unavailable due to a Whitman statistics malfunction.

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