Late Mountaineer Surge Topples Whit Men
News Release Date:
Friday, November 26
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Down by nine points at halftime, Eastern Oregon erupted for 58 second-half points to scrap past Whitman College 99-92 Friday night in men's basketball action at the Walla Walla Vineyard Inn Classic in Sherwood Center.
Eastern Oregon, now 7-1 to start its season, had six players scoring in double figures. Jamar Johnson led the Mountaineers with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Whitman, which led 50-41 at halftime, saw its record fall to 2-1. Brandon Shaw, one of six Missionaries scoring in double digits, paced the home team with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The Mountaineers, ranked No. 18 nationally in the NAIA Division II preseason coaches poll, also got 15 points and seven rebounds from Travares Peterson and 14 points apiece from Cody Thurmond and J.C. Cook.
Jason Mumm, who made six of nine shots from the floor, added 13 points as the sixth Eastern Oregon player in double figures.
Meanwhile, Whitman got 16 points and five rebounds from Justin Artis, 11 points apiece from Josh Duckworth and Ignas Pavilonis, and 10 points each from Ryan Gilkey and Peter Clark. Gilkey also snared a team-high eight rebounds.
Whitman controlled most of the first half and twice led by 12 points, the second time at 46-34 when Pavilonis sank a pair of free throws with 2:20 left. Shaw's two free throws with 16 seconds remaining gave the Missionaries their nine-point bulge at the break.
An Artis bucket early in the second stanza had Whitman on top by 11 points, but Eastern Oregon used a quick 11-2 spurt to jump back into the game. Seven unanswered Mountaineer points then gave the visitors a 64-60 lead with 9:30 left.
Gilkey put back an offensive rebound and added two free throws to spark Whitman. Clark hit two more free throws and Duckworth nailed a jumper to stake the Missionaries to a 73-71 lead.
With the game tied at 77-77, Eastern Oregon seized command with a five-point play. As Peterson was draining a three, Thurmond was fouled as players jostled for position under the backboard.
After Thurmond made his two free throws, Whitman missed at the other end and Peterson knocked down another 3-pointer to inflate the Mountaineer lead to 85-77 with 3:49 left.
Whitman three times trimmed its deficit to three points but could draw no closer as the teams battled down the stretch.
The Missionaries suffered through an off-night from the 3-point line, making just four of 23 tries. Whitman compensated in part at the free throw line, converting 40 of 48 opportunities.
Whitman's tournament concludes with two more games Saturday night.
After Eastern Oregon and Pacific Lutheran play at 6 p.m., Whitman and Northwest meet in the tourney finale at 8 p.m.
Northwest edged Pacific Lutheran 75-74 in Friday's other tournament game.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org