Men's Hoops Ready to Tangle with George Fox in Tourney Semi
Walla Walla, Wash. -- Winners of 9 of their last 10 games and owners of the No. 2 seed in the Northwest Conference tourney, the Whitman Men's basketball team hosts No. 3 seed George Fox at 8 pm in the conference semi-finals this Thursday night at George Ball Court.
Josh Duckworth, Jr.
The Missionaries (18 - 7) posted the most conference wins (12 - 4) in program history this season. The mark was the second-best conference winning percentage (.750) of all time -- the 1980 - 81 co-championship squad had a .769, going 10 - 3.
The Bruins enter Thursday night's contest with a 10 - 6 mark in conference and 15 - 10 overall, finishing in a tie for third with Lewis & Clark and earning the No. 3 seed via the tiebreaker.
Each team won at home in the season series, George Fox prevailing 76 - 73 in Newberg and the Whits getting the "W" in Walla Walla, 93 - 77, in their final regular season home game. Josh Duckworth (Jr., Los Angeles, CA) ripped the nets for 30 points in the second meeting, on 11 of 13 shooting from the field and sinking 5 of 6 from the line. The Bruins Sean Atkins tallied 24.
Atkins is the conference's third leading scorer at 16.4 ppg; Whitman's Ben Eisenhardt (Jr. Bainbridge Island, WA) is right behind him at 16.2. Eisenhardt ranks fourth in field goal percentage at 54.3 %, teammate Ryan Gilkey (Jr., Woodinville, WA) is first at 61.8 %.
Another Whitman steal
The Whits continue to rank first in conference and third nationally in scoring, averaging 90.3 points per game (the closest team in conference is Whitworth at 79.0). Whitman also ranks 1st in the NWC and 18th nationally in scoring margin at 12.4, and tops in conference offensive rebounds with 15 boards per game.
The Bruins come in as the number one team in assists (13.6 apg), Whitman is number three (13.1 apg).
On the defensive side, George Fox tops the league in blocks per game (3.5) and the Missionaries in steals (13.0).
This is the third straight season that the Whits have made the postseason, advancing to the tournament championship game two seasons ago.
The winner of Thursday's matchup plays in the conference championship on Saturday. No. 1 Seed Whitworth is hosting No. 4 Lewis & Clark, also, on Thursday. The championship will be played at the home of the highest remaining seed.
Ticket prices for the tournament games will be as follows: Adults -- $6, Children (12 and under) -- $3, and Seniors -- $3. All Whitman students receive free admission dependent on showing their student ID card..
For live video of Thursday's game: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/whitman.portal#
For live stats: http://www.whitman.edu/whitman-athletics/live-stats
Whitman Sports Information Director