News release date: December 16, 1997

Make it Two Straight: Whitman Wins
Second Straight Holiday BB Tourney

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A year ago, Whitman won its annual pre-holiday basketball tournament in a breeze, walking over two opponents by a combined score of 190 to 133. The Missionaries added a second straight tourney title last weekend, but the task was a good bit more difficult.

After subduing stubborn Capilano College 96-84 Saturday night, Whitman needed overtime Sunday to claim the Wildhorse Resort Classic title with an 87-81 victory over the University of California-Santa Cruz.

With the title game deadlocked at 74-74 at the end of regulation, senior co-captain Todd Wyatt scored his only five points of the night to spark the Missionaries to their second straight overtime victory over the Banana Slugs. In the last meeting between the two schools, (played in November, 1995, in Santa Cruz), Whitman won an 80-88 OT thriller.

Earlier Sunday, Capilano College of North Vancouver, British Columbia, downed Walla Walla College 97-91 in the tournament consolation game.

Whitman's other senior co-captain, Dan Rough, was named the tournament Most Valuable Player. Rough, who scored 22 points in Saturday's victory over Capilano, added 19 points, four rebounds and three steals against Santa Cruz.

Also named to the all-tournament team for Whitman was Will Washington, who scorched Santa Cruz for 27 points, four assists and four rebounds Sunday.

Others named to the all-tourney team included two players from Santa Cruz, senior forward Adam Todd, who had 25 points, 12 rebounds and five assists Sunday, and Jason Semanisin, a sophomore guard who added 16 points. Also named to the all-tourney team were Capilano's Dave Kristensen, who scored 44 points and snared 18 rebounds in two games, and Walla Walla College's Jon Miler, who tallied 35 points in his two games.

Up by one point at halftime Sunday, Whitman scored the first 14 points of the second half to take a 49-34 lead with 16:20 left to play. With 11:18 remaining, the Missionaries continued to nurse a 15-point advantage, 61-46. That's when the Banana Slugs came creeping back, eventually evening the score at 71-71 with 3:04 left. Adam Todd nailed a 3-pointer with 2:22 showing on the clock to give Santa Cruz a 74-71 lead.

After Whitman's Mike Keyser connected on a sweeping hook in the key, Washington converted one of two free throws with 31 seconds left to force overtime. The Banana Slugs struck first in OT, getting a jumper from Adam Sinton to lead 76-74. But Wyatt drove the key, scored and was fouled at the 3:57 mark of overtime. He made the free throw to put the Missionaries ahead 77-76.

Tom Storey then put back his own missed shot to extend Whitman's lead to 79-76, but Todd buried another 3-pointer for the Banana Slugs to knot the score one final time. Storey, Wyatt and Rough hit six free throws and Keyser finished a fast-break layup to give the Missionaries their final margin of victory.

Keyser finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Cameron Evans contributed 11 points and five boards.

Rough's 19 points moved him into seventh place on the list of Whitman's all-time leading scorers. With most of his senior season remaining, Rough has 1,272 career points.

In Saturday's game with Capilano College of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Whitman used a balanced attack (four players scoring in double figures) to pull away in the second half.

Whitman held 10-point leads on three occasions in the first half, but Capilano stayed close and eventually trailed by just four points, 44-40, at the break. Early in the second half with the Missionaries up by one, 53-52, Cameron Evans completed a three-point play in the key and Dan Rough connected on his fifth 3-point bomb of the night to spark a 15-2 run that put Whitman in charge for good.

The Missionaries extended their lead to 24 points, 91-67, before coach Skip Molitor cleared his bench with 3:22 left in the game.

Rough, who had 16 points at halftime, added two three-pointers in the first five minutes of the second half to finish with a game-high 22 points. Rough, who hit five of seven shots from 3-point range, moved past Jerry Johannes (1959-63) into eighth place on Whitman's list of all-time career scoring leaders. Rough has 1,253 career points and needs just four more to pass Bob Becker (1954-58).

Point guard Will Washington added 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Missionaries. Whitman also got 17 points and 12 rebounds from Evans and 16 points, five rebounds and four assists from Todd Wyatt. Wyatt hit all three of his 3-points attempts, and Whitman as a team was 11 of 18 from long range.

Tom Storey came off Whitman's bench to grab seven rebounds and score seven points in 17 minutes of play. Todd Hendry handed out six assists and hit his only 3-point attempt in 15 minutes of reserve action. Starting post player Mike Keyser yanked down nine rebounds.

Capilano, which competes in the 10-team British Columbia Collegiate Athletic Association, fell to 13-5 on the season. The Blues, who began their season in late September, had four players score in double figures.

CONTACT: Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, (509) 527-5902
Email: holden@whitman.edu