Whitman College Men's Basketball

1999-2000 Season -- Game Summaries

Friday, November 19
Northwest Nazarene Tip-Off Tournament
Northwest Nazarene 84, Whitman 72

With senior Jimmy Hill and junior Leonard Harmon each hitting five 3-pointers, the Whitman men came close to upsetting Northwest Nazarene University on its home floor Friday night in the opening game of NNU's four-team U.S. Bank/Shilo Inns Tip-Off Tournament.

The Missionaries led 32-30 at halftime and by a 46-41 margin midway through the second half. But that's when the Crusaders ripped off 17 unanswered points to bolt in front 58-46 and eventually post an 84-72 victory. It was the season-opening game for both schools.

Both Hill and Harmon finished with 19 points. Hill hit five of eight 3-point shots, while Harmon was five of 11 from long range. Hill also had four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Harmon, a community college transfer, was one of four players who played their first game as a Missionary.

Peter Rutledge, another community college transfer, chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds. Freshman point guard Rich Harris nailed a 3-pointer and had seven points. Sophomore Rob Bell, hampered by foul trouble, hit four of five shots from the floor, along with his only free throw, to finish with nine points and five boards in just 17 minutes of playing time.

Junior Kevin Justice grabbed a team-high six rebounds for the Missionaries, while senior Greg Durkin had five boards.

Whitman outscored NNU from the floor, but the Crusaders compensated by converting 26 of 32 free throw attempts. The Missionaries went to the line 19 times and made 11 free throws. NNU also won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Whitman 37-32.

Game box score

Saturday, November 20
Northwest Nazarene Tip-Off Tournament
Pacific Lutheran 86, Whitman 63

Trailing Pacific Lutheran by just two points at halftime, the Whitman men's team made just 10 of 30 shots from the floor and scored just 24 points in the second half en route to an 86-63 loss Saturday night in the consolation final of the U.S. Bank/Shilo Inns Tip-Off Tournament at Northwest Nazarene Univesity in Nampa, Idaho.

Leonard Harmon hit three 3-pointers, making six of 12 shots from the floor overall, to lead Whitman in scoring with 16 points. He also had three assists.

Harmon, who scored 19 points in Friday's game against NW Nazarene, was one of five players named to the all-tournament team. Jonathan Bussell of NW Nazarene received the tournament's Most Valuable Player award.

Peter Rutledge added nine points and three rebounds for the Missionaries, and Rob Bell had another solid game with seven points (three of four from the field) and four boards.

Kevin Justice grabbed five rebounds to lead Whitman in that category for the second straight night. The Missionaries held their own on the backboards, losing that battle 33-32.

Game box score

Tuesday, November 30
Whitworth 74, Whitman 69

Riding a career-high performance from its only senior, Whitworth College overcame a balanced scoring attack from Whitman College and posted a 74-69 Northwest Conference men's basketball victory Tuesday night in Spokane.

Whitworth's Kevin McDaniel scored a career-high 25 points and added a career-high 11 rebounds to lead all players in both categories. The Pirates improved to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in the NWC, while Whitman dropped to 0-3 on the season and 0-1 in conference.

"It was close all the way, but it also was a strange game," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said. "Both teams shot very well in the first half, but then neither team could make a basket in the second half. We had a good look at a 3-pointer in the last 12 seconds that would have tied the score and sent us to overtime, but the shot didn't go down."

Whitman got 12 points apiece from junior Leonard Harmon (Trenton NJ, Ferris HS/Spokane WA, Walla Walla CC) and sophomore Rob Bell (San Jose CA, Bellarmine Prep/San Jose). Bell, a 6-foot-8 center, also grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.

Juniors Peter Rutledge (Orcas WA, Orcas Island HS, Skagit Valley CC/Mt. Vernon) and Kevin Justice (Boise ID, Capitol HS) each scored 11 points for the Missionaries. Rutledge also had six boards.

Greg Durkin (Chico CA, Sequoia HS/Redwood City), one of only two seniors on Whitman's roster, added a team-high eight rebounds and six points. Whitman enjoyed a 40-35 advantage on the backboards.

"Our three big kids - Durkin, Bell and Rutledge - all played especially well," Molitor said.

Jimmy Hill (Kittitas WA, Kittitas HS, Yakima Valley CC), Whitman's other senior, managed just seven points but added five assists and three steals.

Both teams shot well in the first half, which ended with Whitworth on top 50-43. McDaniel scored with just under two minutes left to play to break the game's final tie and put the Pirates up for good at 69-67.

As a team, Whitworth made eight of 20 shots from 3-point range. Whitman was just four of 17 from long range.

Both teams travel to Salem, Oregon, this weekend for NWC contests against Willamette University. Whitworth plays the Bearcats on Friday night, while the Missionaries follow with a Saturday night game at Willamette.

Game box score

Saturday, December 4
Willamette 74, Whitman 60

Leading by one point at halftime and by nine points early in the second half, the Whitman men's basketeball team was poised to knock off Northwest Conference rival Willamette on its home floor Saturday night in Salem. But while the Missionaries lost their shooting touch, the Bearcats continued to pound the backboards and rallied for a 74-60 victory.

Whitman, which has played its first four games on the road, saw its Northwest Conference record fall to 0-2 and its season mark drop to 0-4. The Missionaries lost their NWC opener earlier in the week by five points at Whitworth.

"To look at the positive side, we continue to put ourselves in great position to win these road games," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said. "We had a good lead on Willamette, but when they made their run at us midway through the second half, it didn't seem like we had much left in response. The encouraging part is that we're getting better every time out on the floor."

Whitman, which shot 61 percent from the floor in the first half, led 33-32 at the break. The second half was a different story as the Missionaries made just eight of 24 shots.

"We defended decently and held them to 39 percent from the floor for the game," Molitor said. "What really hurt us is that we allowed 19 offensive rebounds and also had 20 turnovers. As a result, they ended up with 67 shots and we tried to beat them with 47 shots. That's not a very good equation."

Whitman shot 47 percent from the field for the game and lost the overall rebounding battle 39-35.

Kevin Justice sparked the Missionary offense with 19 points. He made eight of 10 shots from the floor and three of four free throw attempts. He also had two assists, two steals and two rebounds.

Jimmy Hill combined 13 points with five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He also nailed two 3-pointers.

"Kevin had big game for us, and Jimmy also had a nice solid game and provided some good leadership," Molitor said.

Leonard Harmon also clicked on a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 10 points. Peter Rutledge added nine points and six rebounds. Greg Durkin also grabbed six boards.

"The kids are anxious to play some home games, get our confidence up a little bit, and get ready for what will be a good season once we get rolling," Molitor said.

Game box score

Tuesday, December 7
Whitman 92, Walla Walla College 76

Jimmy Hill scored 27 points and Leonard Harmon added 17 to spark Whitman to a 92-76 non-conference victory over Walla Walla College Tuesday night in Sherwood Center. Playing at home for the first time this season, Whitman raised its record to 1-4 while WWC dropped to 2-2 overall.

Hill (Kittitas WA, Kittitas HS, Yakima Valley CC) hit seven of 12 shots from 3-point range and converted all six of his free throws. The 6-foot-4 guard also had seven rebounds and five assists.

"That was an outstanding home opener for one of our senior captains," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said. "He has a lot of responsibility in handling the backcourt pressure and distributing the ball. When the ball came back to him tonight, he did an excellent job of shooting it, which is what he does best."

Whitman jumped in front 22-11 in the first eight minutes of play and extended its lead to 39-24 with five minutes left in the first half. But the relentless Wolves, who applied full-court pressure for much of the game and forced the Missionaries into 26 turnovers, closed out the half on an 8-0 run to trail by just five points, 48-43, at the break.

After WWC scored the first point of the second half, Harmon (Trenton NJ, Ferris HS/Spokane WA, Walla Walla CC) nailed a 3-pointer, grabbed two rebounds and made a fastbreak assist as Whitman scored eight quick points to regain control. Hill popped back-to- back 3-pointers to give the Missionaries a 63-48 lead with 16:11 to play, but WWC kept scrambling and cut its deficit to 72-61 at the 9:30 mark.

"Give them credit, they are an extremely scrappy team, and they played a very good first half," Molitor said. "It was a good game for us in that it forced us to work on our weakness, handling the ball, against their defensive pressure, which is their strength. I thought we took a little better care of the ball in the second half."

Whitman's other three starters also scored in double figures and were a combined 16 of 22 from the floor. Peter Rutledge (Orcas WA, Orcas Island HS, Skagit Valley CC/Mt. Vernon) scored 12 points and collected six rebounds before a badly sprained ankle forced him from the game with 11:31 left in the second half. Greg Durkin (Chico CA, Sequoia HS/Redwood City) made all five of his field goal attempts and finished with 10 points and six boards, while Kevin Justice (Boise ID, Capitol HS) added 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.

As a team, Whitman shot 53 percent from the floor, making 36 of 68 shots, while holding WWC to a 35 percent shooting night. The Missionaries won the rebound battle 50 to 46.

Off the Whitman bench, 6-8 sophomore Rob Bell (San Jose CA, Bellarmine Prep/San Jose) had a team-high eight rebounds, and freshman Mark Bouma (Conrad MT, Conrad HS) scored seven points, all in the first half. The Missionaries put nine players in the scoring column, but WWC topped that with 11. Jon Miler (Vancouver WA) scored 16 points for the Wolves, and Tyler Duffy (Bozeman MT) had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Stepper (Redland OR) added 12 points and five steals.

Game box score

Saturday, December 11
Whitworth 102, Whitman 97, overtime

When the opposition counts the 3-point shot as part of its offensive arsenal, no lead is ever safe. That concept was illustrated Saturday night when the Whitman men jumped in front of Whitworth by as many as 23 points in the first half yet eventually lost a 102-97 overtime decision as part of the Wildhorse Resort Classic basketball tournament in Sherwood Center.

With Leonard Harmon scoring 18 points in the first half, the Missionaries bolted to a 47-30 halftime lead. Whitman's lead could have been greater, had it not been for a Whitworth surge late in the half. The Pirates continued their hot shooting in the second half, converting nine of 15 3-point shots in the final 20 minutes of regulation play.

Whitworth nearly won the game in regulation, but Harmon connected on his fifth 3-point at the buzzer to send the game into overtime with the scored deadlocked at 82-82.

Harmon finished with 33 points, making 12 of 20 shots from the floor and four of six free throws. Jimmy Hill also made five 3-pointers for Whitman while scoring 19 points and handing out seven assists.

Harmon and Hill were the only Missionaries to strike from 3-point range, however. Led by Travis Meserve, who made four of his five 3-point shots, Whitworth had five players make at least one 3-pointer. As a team, the Pirates were 12 of 24 from long distance.

Whitman, which played without injured starter Peter Rutledge, had all five of its starters score in double figures. Kevin Justice scored 17 points to go with six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Rob Bell had 11 points and five rebounds, while Greg Durkin snatched a game-high 11 rebounds and scored 10 points.

Game box score

Sunday, December 12
Eastern Oregon 66, Whitman 64

Down by 12 points at halftime and by as many as 16 points early in the second half, the Whitman men rallied and came close to catching Eastern Oregon University Sunday night in the final game of the Wildhorse Resort Classic basketball tournament at Sherwood Center. But the Mountaineers held off the Missionaries in the closing minutes for a 66-64 non-conference victory, improving their season record to 6-2.

Seven points by Jimmy Hill and six by Greg Durkin helped Whitman close to within 53-50 with five minutes remaining. Eastern Oregon jumped back in front by what seemed like a comfortable 62-52 margin with 1:30 left on the clock before the Missionaries made one final run.

Two free throws by freshman Mark Bouma, two baskets by Kevin Justice and Leonard Harmon's third 3-pointer of the night cut Whitman's deficit to 62-59 with 36 seconds remaining. After the Mountaineers turned the ball over trying to inbound it, Whitman failed to capitalize on its next possession and the visitors made four of six free throws to move in front 66-61. Hill's 3-pointer at the buzzer completed the scoring.

Harmon, who scorched Whitworth for 33 points Saturday night, finished with a team-high 17 points against Eastern Oregon. Harmon was named to the all-tournament team along with Kevin McDaniel and Ryan Nelson of Whitworth, Jon Miler of Walla Walla College, and Cory Willard and Maco Hamilton of Eastern Oregon. Hamilton earned the tournament's Most Valuable Player award.

Hill had 15 points against Eastern Oregon, while Justice had 12 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists. Durkin and Rob Bell worked the low post for eight points each, and Bell also pulled down nine rebounds. Harmon and Durkin hit the glass for four boards apiece, helping Whitman to a 43-35 advantage on the backboards.

Game box score

Saturday, December 18
Whitman 85, Okanagan 55

With Leonard Harmon scoring 20 points, Peter Rutledge grabbing 11 rebounds and Jimmy Hill handing out 11 assists, the Whitman men handed Okanagan College University (Kelowna, BC) an 85-55 basketball lesson Saturday night in Sherwood Center. Okanagan, a school that plays in the British Columbia Collegiate Athletic Association, also played at Whitworth and Lewis-Clark State during a three-game weekend exhibition tour.

Hill, who has assumed most of Whitman's point guard duties this season, also scored 13 points and snared six rebounds and two steals while not commiting a single turnover. "We've been having some trouble taking care of the ball, so it's great that Jimmy is adapting so well to the point position," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said.

Harmon made six of 11 shots from the 3-point stripe in scoring his game-high 20 points in 21 minutes of play. Rutledge, who had missed Whitman's two previous games with a sprained ankle, blocked three shots to go with his 11 rebounds in just 18 minutes of court time. "Peter was still a little rusty at the offensive end, but it was nice to have him back on the floor," Molitor said.

Kevin Justice, one of three other Missionaries to score in double figures, hit six of nine shots from the floor and finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Rob Bell had a strong game in the low post, making five of eight shots from the floor and both of his free throws for 12 points. Freshman Josh Maricich had his best game as a collegian, making three of five from the field and four of six from the free throw line for 11 points. Maricich also had three steals.

Whitman bolted to a 50-25 halftime lead, making six of 12 of its 3-point shots in the first 20-minutes of play. The Missionaries were 19 of 37 from the floor overall in the first half. Molitor cleared his bench in the second, and all but one of Whitman's 12 players made the scoring column. No player was on the floor for more than 21 minutes.

Game box score

Wednesday, December 29
La Verne 88, Whitman 84, overtime

Tough luck followed the Whitman men to California Wednesday evening where the Missionaries led for much of the game before dropping an 88-84 overtime decision to the University of La Verne in the opening round of the Occidental College Round Robin Tournament in Los Angeles.

Regulation time ended with the two teams deadlocked at 75-75. The Leopards then outscored Whitman 13-9 to claim the victory.

La Verne improved to 5-2 on the season while the hard-luck Missionaries fell to 1-7.

Of Whitman's last three losses, two were in overtime and one was by two points. The Missionaries held second-half leads in three of its first four games but eventually lost all four of those contests.

"We're definitely feeling snakebit," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said. "This was a great game with La Verne, but it was a tough one to lose."

The Missionaries led by two points and had possession with about 15 seconds left in regulation. But when Whitman's Jimmy Hill dribbled the ball off a defender's foot, the officials didn't see the play and called a jump ball, Molitor said. La Verne got the ball on the possession arrow and scored with four seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Whitman led by as many as 10 points in the first half and held a 39-33 advantage at the break.

"They tied the game at 50 in the second half and it was back and forth after that," Molitor said. The Missionaries led 71-66 with less than three minutes remaining in regulation after Leonard Harmon nailed a 3-pointer, was fouled and added the free throw for a four-point play.

"We really thought that was going to be enough," Molitor said. "But they called a time-out, scored on their next two possessions and defended us pretty well at the end.

Kevin Justice led Whitman with 21 points. He was eight of 13 from the floor and five of six from free throw line. Hill added 18 points along with seven rebounds and seven assists. Harmon finished with 12 points, four assists and four steals, while Greg Durkin had 10 points and six boards.

Rob Bell made three of four shots from both the floor and the charity stripe to total nine points. He also had four rebounds.

Peter Rutledge combined six points with six boards and three assists. Freshman Mark Bouma added seven points and four boards.

As a team, Whitman shot 53 percent from the floor and battled the Leopards to a 35-35 standstill on the backboards.

"The great part is that the guys are continuing to play hard and get better," Molitor said. "All we can do is keep playing hard and hope that some of these hard-luck losses come back to us as wins in the conference season."

Game box score

Thursday, December 30
Occidental 68, Whitman 58

Occidental College grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and converted 16 points at the free throw line Thursday night while handing the Whitman men a 68-58 defeat in the second round of the Occidental Round Robin basketball tournament in Los Angeles.

Occidental's edge on the backboards and at the charity stripe offset Whitman's superior shooting from the floor. Down 27-20 at halftime, the Missionaries made 59 percent of its shots in the second half to finish with a 47 percent shooting night overall. The Tigers shot just 39 percent on the night.

Occidental outrebounded Whitman 41-29 and went to the free throw line 25 times, making 16. The Missionaries were eight of 10 at the line.

Kevin Justice and Jimmy Hill, who scored 21 and 18 points, respectively, in Whitman's overtime loss to La Verne Wednesday, added 14 points apiece against Occidental. Justice was six of nine from the floor and had four rebounds and four assists. Hill, who had a team-high five assists, made five of his 10 shots, including four of seven from the 3-point line.

Greg Durkin also had a good night for the Missionaries, collecting nine rebounds while making four of six shots for eight points.

Even though Whitman lost its two Occidental tournament games, Hill and Justice both earned spots on the all-tournament team. In his two games, Justice scored 35 points, making 14 of 22 shots from the floor and seven of nine free throws. Justice also had six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Hill added 32 points in two games, making 11 of 22 shots from the floor, including seven of 14 attempts from the 3-point arc. Hill added 12 assists and nine rebounds.

Game box score

Monday, January 3
Carroll 84, Whitman 73

With one of its starters sidelined by the flu, the Whitman men's basketball team concluded its non-conference schedule with an 84-73 loss to Carroll College Monday night in Helena, Montana. "The kids played hard, which gave us a chance to win against what was probably our toughest opponent of the season to date," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said.

Carroll, an NAIA school, improved its season record to 8-6, bouncing back from a narrow loss last week to Southern Utah Univesity, an NCAA Div. I school. Whitman, which has played eight of its first 10 games on the road, fell to 1-9 on the season.

Whitman trailed by just six points, 73-67, with 2:22 remaining in Monday night's game before Carroll pulled away in the closing seconds.

"We played them pretty tough," Molitor said. "We boarded with them at 33 apiece, and we outshot them from the floor, 54 to 44 percent. But the turnover margin was 20 to 12 in their favor, and their three perimenter players were just outstanding."

Jimmy Hill scored 18 points to lead Whitman. Mark Bouma, a freshman from Conrad, Montana, added 11 points and two steals in his first collegiate start. Bouma connected on four of his seven shot attempts from the floor and made all three of his free throws.

Greg Durkin added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Missionaries. Rob Bell chipped in with nine points.

Peter Rutledge, one of Whitman's starting front-court players, missed the game because of the flu.

"We're looking forward to coming home and getting a little rest before re-starting conference play this weekend," Molitor said. "Even though our record doesn't show it, we're not too far away from being a darn good basketball team. The guys are keeping their heads up and playing hard. If we keep doing that, we're going to be fine."

Game box score

Friday, January 7
Pacific Lutheran 76, Whitman 69

Whitman's hard-luck season continued Friday night when Pacific Lutheran outscored the visiting Missionary men 12-2 in the final four minutes of play to rally for a 76-69 Northwest Conference victory in Tacoma. Whitman, which has dropped several close games this winter, fell to 1-10 on the season, 0-3 in NWC play. PLU improved to 1-2 in conference and 6-5 overall.

Greg Durkin, who finished with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, gave the Missionaries a 67-64 lead when he hit a layin with 4:19 remaining. PLU then ended the game on its 12-2 run, however, to pull out the win.

Playing its ninth road game of the season, Whitman trailed 36-28 at halftime before shooting itself back into the contest in the second half. With Leonard Harmon hitting a pair of 3-pointers and Jimmy Hill adding another, the Missionaries scored the first nine points of the second half to grab a 37-36 lead.

Whitman outshot the Lutes from the floor and 3-point line, and the two teams finished with 35 rebounds apiece. The Missionaries were 26 of 54 from the floor, including nine of 18 from 3-point range.

Hill made five of nine shots from long distance en route to a game-high 19 points. Hill also had eight assists, three rebounds and two steals.

Harmon canned four of eight 3-point attempts and finished with 17 points. Harmon added four boards and two steals.

Kevin Justice chipped in with 12 points, making four of eight shots from the floor, and collected six assists and four rebounds. In his best all-around game of the season, Durkin also shot well, connecting on eight of 15 of his field goal attempts.

Whitman played without starter Rob Bell, who isn't playing this weekend due to a lower leg staph infection, which developed from an infected blister. Bell has been averaging nearly eight point and five rebounds per game.

Whitman, which has played its first three NWC games on the road, will battle Puget Sound Saturday in Tacoma. The Missionaries will host their first two conference games next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 14-15.

Game box score

Saturday, January 8
Puget Sound 73, Whitman 72

Yet another game slipped away from the Whitman men Saturday night when the University of Puget Sound's Jeff Carlson hit a 3-pointer with just 14 seconds left in the game to give the Loggers a 73-72 Northwest Conference victory in Tacoma.

The loss dropped the Missionaries to 0-4 in conference and 1-11 on the season.

"We've played our first four conference games on the road, and we put ourselves in a position to win all four," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said. "That's the sign of a pretty good ballclub. It's just unfortunate that a few of these games haven't gone our way."

The Missionaries made 54 percent of their shots from the floor in the first half, including four of eight attempts from the 3-point arc, to build a 40-34 lead at the break. But the Loggers stayed close in the second half and finally took the lead on a 3-point play with 2:41 left in the game. Following a bucket by Greg Durkin, Whitman regained a 72-70 lead with 31 seconds remaining when Jimmy Hill connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the night.

After Carlson's 3-pointer at the 14-second mark, Whitman got off one final shot that bounced off the back rim with four seconds left.

Leonard Harmon turned in a strong game for the Missionaries, scoring 16 points and collaring 10 rebounds. Kevin Justice also was a workhorse, combining 14 points with eight assists and six rebounds. Hill had 14 points and four boards.

Also scoring in double figures for Whitman were Durkin with 11 points and Peter Rutledge with 10. Durkin snared seven rebounds while Rutledge had five. Rob Bell missed his second straight game with a staph infection in his lower leg.

As a team, Whitman shot a higher percentage from the floor and outrebounded the Loggers by one.

Game box score

Friday, January 14
Linfield 77, Whitman 66

Defending champion Linfield raised its Northwest Conference record to 5-0 with a 77-66 victory over the Whitman men Friday night in Sherwood Center. The Wildcats are 10-3 on the season, while the struggling Missioinaries dropped to 0-5 in conference and 1-12 overall.

Kevin Justice paced Whitman with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Leonard Harmon and Jimmy Hill scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, with Hill adding seven assists.

Whitman's Greg Durkin combined nine rebounds with eight points. Rob Bell also scored eight points for the Missionaries, while Peter Rutledge grabbed seven boards. Whitman outrebounded Linfield 50-39 but also committed 20 turnovers, six more than the Wildcats.

The Missionaries took an early 4-0 lead, holding Linfield scoreless for the first four minutes of play. Whitman held its final lead at 10-8 at the 10:05 mark of the first half before the Wildcats worked their way to a 31-20 lead with 2:32 remaining. Linfield led 35-26 at intermission.

After the Missionaries scored the first two points of the second half, the Wildcats ripped off a 10-2 run to extend its lead to 15 points with 16:59 left to play. Linfield maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way and was in front 72-56 with 2:05 remaining.

Whitman reeled off eight points in less than 30 seconds, narrowing the deficit to 72-64 with a minute left. After Durkin started the late rally with a three-point play in the paint, Hill connected on a 3-pointer, made a steal and added two free after being fouled.

Linfield turned aside Whitman's comeback bid, however, with three free throws and a two-pointer in the final minute.

Game box score

Saturday, January 15
Pacific 76 Whitman 63

Can life get any tougher for the men's basketball team? A season marked by transition, minor injury and occasional illness, and several close losses took another turn for the worse Saturday night in Sherwood Center when junior captain Kevin Justice suffered a season-ending knee injury against Pacific.

Justice, who snared 13 rebounds Friday night against Linfield, twisted his knee as he came down with an offensive rebound in the fourth minute of play against Pacific. With Justice on the sideline, Whitman's early 11-5 lead quickly evaporated into a 41-32 halftime deficit. Even though the short-handed Missionaries battled back in the second half to within two points, 63-61, the Lutes pulled away in the closing minutes for a 76-63 victory.

Leonard Harmon helped fuel Whitman's second-half rally, hitting five of 11 3-point shots on the night to finish with a game-high 25 points. The only other Missionary to score in double figures, however, was Greg Durkin, who made four of six shots from the floor and two of three free throws for 10 points.

Rob Bell converted seven of eight free throws to finish with nine points and seven rebounds. Jimmy Hill added eight points and five assists, while Peter Rutledge grabbed six rebounds.

Game box score

Friday, January 21
George Fox 92, Whitman 84

The hard-luck Whitman College men's basketball team turned in another solid effort but remained winless in the Northwest Conference with a 92-84 loss at George Fox University Friday night in Newberg.

The loss lowered the Missionaries to 1-14 on the season and 0-7 in conference. The Bruins ended a four-game losing streak and now stand at 6-8 for the season and 2-5 in the NWC.

The Bruins hit on all cylinders early, jumping out to a 29-16 lead before the Missionaries climbed back into it, getting within two at 40-38 with two minutes left in the half. The Bruins stretched it back to seven at the break, 47-40.

George Fox maintained its marginal lead most of the second half before a three-pointer by Jimmy Hill, the No. 14 three-point scorer in the nation, gave the Missionaries their only lead of the half, 79-78, with 3:27 to play.

The Bruins' James Macy broke an 80-80 tie with a layup at 2:04, his third bucket in the space of two minutes. Then, Jordan Green, who finished with 31 points, went to work, hitting two free throws, a banked three-pointer, and three more free throws to ice the game.

Hill, one of Whitman's senior captains, wracked up 23 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 35 minutes of play for the injury-depleted Missionaries. Junior Leonard Harmon added 21 points, seven rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot in 36 minutes of action.

Sophomore Rob Bell shot 60 percent from the floor and was the other Missionary in double-digit scoring with 15 points.

Starting in place of the injured Kevin Justice, freshman Rich Harris scored eight points and collected five assists, four rebounds and two steals in his first start of the conference season.

The Missionaries play at 8 p.m. Saturday at Lewis & Clark College in Portland.

Game box score

Saturday, January 22
Lewis & Clark 93, Whitman 87

After 40 minutes of regulation play left the Missionaries in a 78-78 deadlock with the Lewis & Clark Pioneers Saturday night in Portland, the Blue and Gold ran out of gas in overtime and lost a 93-87 Northwest Conference decision.

For the Pioneers, it was their ninth consecutive victory and good enough for a share of first place in the conference at 7-1, 12-4 overall. In losing their third overtime game of the season, the Missionaries fell to 1-15 on the season and 0-8 in conference.

Jimmy Hill, who hit a 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer to force overtime, led Whitman with a season-high 30 points. Hill, a senior captain, added seven rebounds and five assists while shooting 10 of 16 from the field, including eight of 12 from behind the three-point arc.

Junior Leonard Harmon scored 17 for the Missionaries and added four rebounds, while freshman Rich Harris and sophomore Rob Bell contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively. Both Bell and Harris had six rebounds, while Harris added five assists and was the only Missionary without a turnover on the night.

"Rich had a fabulous game," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said.

Senior post Greg Durkin had eight rebounds and eight points, while junior Peter Rutledge had seven rebounds and seven points. Whitman outrebounded the Pioneers 43-30.

Game box score

Tuesday, January 25
Whitworth 70, Whitman 63

Whitworth College broke loose from a close game midway through the second half and posted a 70-63 Northwest Conference victory over the Whitman men in Sherwood Center Tuesday night. Whitworth snapped a five-game losing streak and raised its record to 3-6 in conference and 7-10 overall. Whitman saw its record fall to 0-9 in the NWC and 1-16 on the season.

Freshman point guard Rich Harris hit five of seven shots from the floor, including three of four from behind the 3-point arc, to score a season-high 15 points for Whitman. Mark Bouma, another freshman, hit eight of nine free throws and scored 12 points to go with four rebounds. Jimmy Hill added 11 points, six rebounds and three steals for the Missionaries, while Leonard Harmon scored 10 points.

Whitworth jumped in front 10-0 in the game's first two minutes, but Whitman responded with an 11-0 run of its own, holding the Pirates scoreless for six minutes. The two sides traded leads six times through the remainder of the half. Harris converted two free throws with 14 seconds remaining to knot the score at 31-31, but Whitworth's Ryan Nelson hit his fourth 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Pirates a 34-31 lead at intermission.

Harmon and Harris connected on 3-pointers to open the second half and the lead changed hands four times in the first three minutes. On top 47-45 with 13:05 left to play, the Pirates used a 13-4 run over the next five minutes to take a 60-49 lead. Harris popped a 3-pointer at the 1:59 mark to pull Whitman to within 65-60, but Whitworth's David Rusk responded 30 seconds later with his own 3-ball to put some breathing room back in the Pirate lead.

Game box score

Friday, January 28
Whitman 65, Willamette 62

Jimmy Hill fired home a 3-point bomb from NBA range with three seconds remaining to give the Whitman men a wild 65-62 Northwest Conference victory over Willamette Friday night in Sherwood Center.

It was the first victory in 10 NWC games and only the second triumph overall for the Missionaries, who have struggled through a long season marked by injuries and several narrow defeats, including three overtime losses. Whitman improved to 1-9 in conference and 2-16 on the season.

Willamette, which began the weekend in third place in the NWC, fell to 6-3 in the conference standings and 10-6 overall.

Whitman led 29-26 at halftime but fell behind by as many as nine points as Willamette took control in the second half. The Bearcats led 57-51 with 5:40 remaining, but free throws by sophomore Rob Bell and freshman Mark Bouma, followed by a Hill 3-pointer, knotted the score at 57 with 2:14 left on the clock.

After both sides misfired on field goal attempts, Willamette missed again and Bell was fouled pulling down the rebound. The 6-foot-8 post nailed both free throws at the 1:22 mark to give the Missionaries their first lead since early in the half.

When the Bearcats, who scored just seven points in the final six minutes of play, failed to score at their end, Hill pulled down the rebound and was fouled leading the fastbreak. His two free throws with a minute left to play gave Whitman a 61-57 lead.

But Willamette's Jason Downey, who led all scorers with 25 points, canned a baseline jumper with 60 seconds remaining to cut the Bearcat deficit to 61-59. Whitman's Greg Durkin added a free throw with 26 seconds left to give the Missionaries a three-point cushion.

On Willamette's next possession, Nik Lubisich slipped behind a Brian Newton screen and connected from beyond the 3-point arc as Newton was being knocked to the floor. With the score tied at 62-62, Newton went to the free throw line with a one-and-one opportunity.

Newton's first attempt clanged off the rim and Durkin rebounded for the Missionaries, who called time-out with six seconds left after advancing the ball to their end of the floor. Hill inbounded the ball to Bell, took a quick return pass and nailed his 3-pointer for what proved to be the game-winner. With three seconds still showing on the clock, Willamette's half-court inbounds pass was knocked out of bounds for a Bearcat turnover.

Hill, a senior captain, finished with a team-high 19 points, along with eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Hill, who leads the conference in total 3-point baskets, made five of ten 3-point attempts on the night.

Leonard Harmon added 17 points for the Missionaries, while Bell chipped in with nine points and six rebounds. Durkin had seven points and seven rebounds, while Bouma scored all six of his points in the second half.

Willamette scored the game's first six points, but Whitman rebounded to lead by eight points, 29-21, with 50 seconds left in the first half. The Bearcats scored five quick points to narrow its deficit at the halftime break. Willamette then tallied the first eight points of the second to move in front.

Whitman outrebounded the Bearcats 42-30 and committed just nine turnovers.

Game box score

Friday, February 4
Pacific 77, Whitman 60

Whitman's Peter Rutledge scored the first points of the game to give the Missionaries an early 2-0 lead Friday night at Pacific University, but the Boxers slowly pulled away for a 77- 60 Northwest Conference victory. The Boxers improved to 13-5 on the season, 8-4 in conference, which was good for a momentary tie for second place heading into Saturday night's games. The Missionaries fell to 2-17 overall, 1-10 in conference.

Sophomore post Rob Bell led Whitman with 13 points on a perfect night from the field. He made all four of his shots from the floor and converted five of his six free throw attempts. Senior captain Jimmy Hill, the only other Missionary in double figures in the scoring column, finished with 11 points, including a game-high three 3-pointers. Hill continues to lead the conference in total 3-point baskets with 69. Earlier this week, he was ranked third nationally in NCAA Division III.

Rutledge and senior captain Greg Durkin each had seven rebounds for Whitman. Rutledge added eight points, while Durkin chipped in five. Freshman guard Rich Harris led the team in assists and steals with four each. Harris also finished with six points.

Game box score

Saturday, February 5
Linfield 84, Whitman 79

Derek Grace, the 7-foot-1 center who helped Linfield College win a Northwest Conference title last season, scored a career-high 23 points Saturday night to help the Wildcats down the stubborn Whitman men 84-79 in McMinnville, Oregon. Whitman fell to 1-11 in conference and 2-18 on the season, while Linfield remained tied for second in the conference and now stands at 9-4, 14-7 overall.

The Missionaries led by four points, 19-15, with 11:19 left in the first half before the Wildcats erupted on a 12-2 run to gain the upper hand. They took a 42-32 lead into the locker rooms at the half.

Turnovers proved costly for the Missionaries in the second half. Linfield picked off 14 steals on the night and forced Whitman into 21 turnovers. With 3:34 left in the game, however, junior guard Leonard Harmon converted two free throws to pull Whitman to within three points at 77-74. But Linfield answered back with five straight points to put the game out of reach.

Freshman point guard Rich Harris scored a career-high 19 points, making 14 of 16 shots from the free throw line, to lead Whitman. Harris also had four rebounds. Jimmy Hill scored 15 points and pulled down four rebounds of his own.

Harmon finished with 13 points, three steals and a game-high nine rebounds. Rob Bell was the fourth Missionary in double figures, scoring 14 points in 22 minutes. Mark Bouma, another Whitman freshman, had eight points and four boards before fouling out in in just 19 minutes of playing time.

Game box score

Friday, February 11
Puget Sound 77, Whitman 74

The University of Puget Sound men crashed the boards for 21 offensive rebounds and survived a late Whitman comeback bid to post a 77-74 Northwest Conference victory Friday night in Sherwood Center. The Loggers raised their record to 4-8 in conference and 6-13 overall. Whitman dropped to 1-12 in the NWC and 2-19 on the season.

Leading 60-56 midway through the second half, Puget Sound pieced together a 9-0 run to grab its biggest lead of the game at 69-56 with 7:26 remaining. But Whitman reeled off 11 unanswered points of its own, holding the Loggers scoreless for nearly five minutes, to cut its deficit to two points, 69-67, with 2:55 left.

After the two teams traded baskets, Whitman freshman Rich Harris nailed his third 3-pointer of the night to pull the Missionaries to within one point, 73-72, with 1:32 left on the clock.

Puget Sound converted four free throws inside the last minute, but Greg Durkin scored for the Missionaries with 21 seconds left to trim the Logger lead to 77-74. After Jeff Carlson missed two free throws Puget Sound's next possession, Whitman had one final shot at a 3- pointer to send the game to overtime. With the Loggers guarding the 3-point stripe, Whitman's Jimmy Hill missed a contested 3-points in the final seconds.

Leonard Harmon made eight of 11 shots from the floor to finish with 19 points for Whitman. Durkin, who snared a team-high eight rebounds, made six of his eight shots from the field. Peter Rutledge also had a strong inside game for the Missionaries, combining 11 points, seven boards and two blocked shots.

Harris, who was three of five from the 3-point line, added 11 points for Whitman. Hill, who leads the conference in total 3-point baskets, hit three more to finish with nine points. Hill also handed out a season-high 12 assists and collected five rebounds.

As a team, Whitman shot 54.9 percent from the floor, making 28 of 51 shots. Puget Sound shot just under 40 percent for the game, but the Loggers compensated by outrebounding Missionaries 41-34, and by taking 20 more shots.

Puget Sound took control early in the first half, using an 18-5 run to grab a 23-11 lead at the 12:27 mark. After Whitman rallied to within 39-35 late in the half, the Loggers scored the final five points to take a nine-point lead at the break.

Game box score

Saturday, February 12
Whitman 72, Pacific Lutheran 66

Jimmy Hill and Leonard Harmon each scored 20 points, and Harmon was one of three Missionaries to grab eight rebounds, as Whitman rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to knock off Pacific Lutheran 72-66 in Northwest Conference action Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

Hill, who leads the conference in total 3-point baskets, was six of 11 from long-range against the Lutes. Playing the entire 40 minutes, the senior co-captain nailed a trey with about five minutes left in the game to give Whitman the lead for good. Hill also had five assists against just one turnover.

While Hill and Harmon were scoring from the outside, Peter Rutledge and Greg Durkin gave the Missionaries a highly effective one-two punch on the inside. Both players had eight rebounds with Rutledge crashing the offensive glass for six of his boards. Rutledge also scored 12 points, blocked four shots and handed out a pair of assists. Durkin chipped in with 10 points, hitting four of seven shots from the floor and converting both of his free throw opportunities.

The loss was one the Lutes could ill afford. It dropped them to 7-7 in the conference standings, a game behind Willamette in a battle for the fourth and final playoff spot.

The victory game the Missionaries a 2-12 conference record in a season marked by injury and a handful of close losses.

The Lutes broke on top early, scoring the first 10 points of the game. After stemming a Whitman revival midway through the half, PLU took a 38-27 cushion into intermission.

The Missionaries found their shooting touch in the second half, however, hitting 15 of 30 shots from the floor and 10 of 11 attempts from the free throw line. After hitting four of 10 3-pointers in the first half, Whitman knocked down five of 11 long range shots in thesecond half.

Whitman coach Skip Molitor said freshman Rich Harris gets part of the credit for Whitman's second-half execution at the offensive end. "This was the second straight night that Harris bounced back to have a very solid second half," Molitor said. Harris finished with six points, hitting a pair of critical free throws down the stretch, while dishing three assists and snaring three rebounds.

Game box score

Friday, February 18
Lewis & Clark 103, Whitman 77

Lewis & Clark captured its school-record 16th-straight victory with a 103-77 Northwest Conference triumph over Whitman Friday night in Sherwood Center. The Pioneers, who clinched the regular season championship a week ago, improved to 14-1 in conference and 19-4 on the season. The Missionaries fell to 2-13 and 3-20.

Whitman jumped in front 9-3 in the first two minutes of play before the Pioneers reeled off 11 unanswered points to take the lead for good. Hot-shooting Lewis & Clark converted 11 of 22 3-point attempts in the first half and led 60-30 at intermission.

Leonard Harmon paced Whitman's offense, scoring 24 points on 10 of 14 shots from the floor. Harmon also grabbed seven rebounds.

Greg Durkin and Peter Rutledge also had a good night rebounding and shooting the ball. Both players scored 10 points apiece, making 10 of 19 shots between them. Durkin grabbed eight rebounds while Rutledge came down with seven. Rutledge also blocked two shots.

Whitman also got five boards from freshman Mark Bouma and four rebounds apiece from four other players -- Jimmy Hill, Rob Bell, Julien Hoisington and Jason Berry. The Missionaries outrebounded Lewis & Clark 46-40.

Hill scored just nine points, but he handed out a season-high 13 assists.

While outscoring the Pioneers 47-43 in the second half, Whitman never drew closer than a 25-point deficit.

Game box score

Saturday, February 19
Whitman 74, George Fox 73

With all five starters scoring in double figures and combining for 30 rebounds, the Whitman men closed their season with an exciting 74-73 Northwest Conference victory over George Fox Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

One of those starters, junior forward Peter Rutledge, was the hero, bulling his way through two defenders to score the winning basket with about nine seconds remaining.

In the first half, with Jimmy Hill and Leonard Harmon both hitting three of four 3-point attempts, the Missionaries rallied from a seven-point deficit to gran a 46-37 lead at the break. Whitman, which shot 54.8 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes of play, outscored the Bruins 24-8 over the last seven minutes of the half.

The Missionaries twice led by 11 points early in the second stanza, the second time on Rob Bell's basket at the 17:01 mark. The Bruins then erupted on an 18-1 run, however, taking a 57-51 lead with 12:23 remaining. Three hoops by Rutledge kept Whitman in the game, although the visitors still had the upper hand, 67-60, with six minutes left to play.

Hill triggered Whitman's final rally with a pair of buckets, one a 3-pointer. Freshman Rich Harris, who missed the previous night's game due to illness, drained a 3-ball of his own to tie the score at 69 with 4:17 left on the clock. Mark Bouma, another freshman, added three more points, one a free throw, to give the Missionaries a three-point cushion.

That advantage soon disappeared, however, when Travis Melvin made a 3-pointer and Sean Linder converted a free throw 32 seconds left to give the Bruins what would prove to be a short-lived 73-72 lead.

Harmon paced Whitman's balanced attack with 15 points. He also snared eight rebounds, second only to the nine boards Rutledge collected. Hill added 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Hill piled up 22 assists in his two weekend games.

Hill finished his senior season with 86 3-point baskets, which led the conference and placed him among the top handful of players in the nation in NCAA Div. III. Hill fell just four 3-point baskets short of Whitman's single-season record, which was set by Dan Rough during the 1995-96 season.

Rutledge made six of 11 shots from the field for 12 points. His nine rebounds was the game-high for both teams.

Durkin, Whitman's other senior, also had a solid final game, making four of six shots from the floor while scoring 10 points. He also grabbed four rebounds.

Game box score

Wednesday, February 23
Northwest Conference playoffs
Willamette 68, Lewis & Clark 64
Linfield 75, Pacific 61

It was a night of upsets Wednesday in the opening round of the Northwest Conference playoffs. In the night's major shocker, Willamette snapped Lewis & Clark's 17-game winning streak, handing the regular season champs a 68-64 defeat on their home floor. Jason Downey scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to spark Willamette, the No. 4 seed. The Bearcats outhustled the Pioneers on the boards, building a 39-23 rebounding advantage. Willamette scored 24 second-chance points off 14 offensive rebounds.

Meanwhile, No. 3 Linfield outshot No. 2 Pacific for a 75-61 victory in Forest Grove. As a team, the Wildcats shot 52 percent from the floor. Scott Turner scored 17 points, Grant Ebright added 15, and 7-foot center Derek Grace clicked for 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Linfield, now 16-9 overall, hosts 14-10 Willamette this Saturday for the NWC title. One of Willamette's conference defeats earlier this season was a 65-62 loss to Whitman in Sherwood Center.

Pacific ended its season with 16-8 record. Lewis & Clark, which saw its season mark fall to 20-5, remains hopeful that it will receive an invitation to the 48-team NCAA Div. III national championship tournament.