Missonary men 'run into a buzzsaw' against L&C

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PORTLAND — Whitman fell into an early 8-0 hole Saturday night and was unable to recover in an 80-62 Northwest Conference men’s basketball loss to Lewis & Clark at the Pamplin Sports Center.

Serg Ovchinnikov scored a game-high 17 points as the Pioneers (10-6 NWC, 17-8 overall) clinched the No. 4 spot in the league and the fourth seed in next week’s Northwest Conference tournament.

“We ran into a buzzsaw on the defensive end and the offensive end,” Whitman coach Eric Bridgeland said. “Lewis & Clark was too much to handle tonight. They had senior night and they knew if they won, they’d be in the playoffs. It was a playoff atmosphere.”

The Missionaries ended regular-season play 11-5 and 16-9.

As the league’s No. 2 seed, Whitman will host Puget Sound in the opening round of the NWC tourney on Thursday.

“We’ll get back at it and prepare for our playoff game next Thursday,” Bridgeland said.

Lewis & Clark’s Quentin Sims gave his team an 8-0 lead just 1:19 after the opening tip with a three-point field goal — one of 14 the Pioneers made on 33 attempts in the game.

The lead stretched to 14, 22-8, when Ovchinnikov drained a trey with 10:09 on the clock.

Another Ovchinnikov triple made it 25-8 with 9:33 left in the opening half.

Lewis & Clark went up by 20, 29-9, on a Connor Freeberg layup at the 8:18 mark.

Whitman closed to within 13, 35-22, with 2:18 showing on a jumper by Tochi Oti. But the Pioneers would regain momentum and take a 15-point margin, 41-26, into halftime.

It went from bad to worse for the Missionaries after intermission. Sims nailed a three ball at the 16:55 mark to give Lewis & Clark a 52-28 lead.

The Pioneers went up by 25, 60-35, on a Ben Neves layup with 12:42 to go.

Whitman ripped off the next eight points and cut the deficit to 17, 60-43, on a Brock Wade three with 10:18 remaining.

Lewis & Clark raised the lead back to 25 on two occasions — 75-50 and 77-52 — before coasting home with the 18-point triumph.

Oti and LuQuam Thompson led the Missionaries with 11 points apiece. Whitman shot just 32 percent (19-of-60) in the contest.

Bridgeland summed up the cold-shooting night by saying, “There was a lid on the bucket.”

Lewis and Clark 82, Whitman 60

WHITMAN (60) — Mounier 0-3 0-0 0, Eisenhardt 4-10 1-1 9, Oti 5-10 0-1 11, Lippi 0-3 0-0 0, Clough 0-2 0-0 0, Callahan 0-1 0-0 0, Duckworth 0-1 0-0 0, Chircu 0-2 0-0 0, Martin 2-5 2-4 6, Gagliardi 0-0 1-2 1, Wade 3-7 1-2 9, Durham 3-5 2-3 9, Thompson 0-6 11-12 11, Hays 2-3 0-0 4, French 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-60 18-25.

L&C (82) — Carter 4-8 1-3 9, Neves 2-3 0-0 4, Luhnow 5-9 1-1 15, Freeberg 3-10 3-4 9, Sims 4-7 0-0 12, Ovchinnikov 6-12 0-0 17, Roberson 0-1 0-0 0, Parker 4-8 0-0 9, Leathers 0-1 5-10 5, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Coombe 0-0 22-2, Getz 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 0-4 0-0 0, Collins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-63 12-20.

Halftime — L&C 41-26. 3-point goals —Whit 4-16 (Mounier 0-3, Oti 1-3, Lippi 0-1, Clough 0-1, Callahan 0-1, Wade 2-5, Durham 1-1, Thompson 0-2); L&C 14-33 (Luhnow 4-8, Freeberg 0-2, Sims 4-7, Ovchinnikov 5-11, Parker 1-4, Jackson 0-1). Total fouls — Whit 16, L&C 20. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Whit 45 (Clough 5), L&C 40 (Carter 15). Assists — Whit 3, L&C 14 (Neves 7). Turnovers — Whit 14, L&C 8.

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