Missionary men picked to finish second in NWC

Whitman College's Ben Eisenhardt (center) splits George Fox University defenders Sean Atkins (left) and Jason Martin pursuing an offensive rebound during the second half of their Northwest Conference semifinal matchup Thursday evening in Walla Walla.

Whitman College's Ben Eisenhardt (center) splits George Fox University defenders Sean Atkins (left) and Jason Martin pursuing an offensive rebound during the second half of their Northwest Conference semifinal matchup Thursday evening in Walla Walla. Photo by Matthew Zimmerman Banderas.

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WALLA WALLA — The Whitman College men’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in the Northwest Conference, as selected by the conference’s coaches in the preseason poll released by the conference office.

The Missionaries received two of the possible nine first-place votes, and 58 total points.

Whitworth, which is picked to finish first, garnered the other seven first-place votes and 70 points.

Whitman is coming off a season in which the Missionaries went 19-7 overall and 12-4 in conference, good for a second-place finish and a home NWC Tournament game, which they won.

The team returns three all-conference selections, including NWC Player of the Year Ben Eisenhardt, who averaged 16.4 points per game and shot better than 54 percent from the field.

All-NWC second-team point guard Josh Duckworth returns, along with All-NWC honorable mention forward Matt Mounier.

Whitman is looking to earn its first NCAA Division III tournament berth this season since it entered Division III in the late 1990s.

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