Rally Falls Short, BB Men Fall to Eagles

News Release Date:
Saturday, November 27

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A spirited comeback fell short in the final two minutes as Whitman College dropped an 88-79 men's basketball decision to Northwest University Saturday night in the final game of the Walla Walla Vineyard Inn Classic in Sherwood Center.

 Northwest 88,
Whitman 79

  Box Score

Down by 14 points early in the second half, Whitman twice clawed back to within a point, the second time at 72-71 on a Drew Raher layin with 2:17 left on the clock.

Josh Duckworth

But the Eagles flew away when Daley Landon and Tyson Christie drilled 3-pointers to give the visitors a 78-71 lead with 90 seconds remaining. Whitman drew no closer than five points the rest of the way.

Rich Skillman tallied 16 points for Northwest, which improved to 6-1 on the season. Greg Peters added 14 points and seven for the Eagles, who also got 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists from Christie. Landon and Greg George scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Drew Raher

Brandon Shaw made nine of 15 shots from the floor in combining 19 points with six rebounds, four assists and four steals for Whitman, which slipped to 2-2 on the season.

Freshman Josh Duckworth was seven of 14 from the floor en route to 15 points and four rebounds.

Ryan Gilkey, also a freshman, added 13 points, four rebounds and three steals, and Raher just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Whitman, suffering through a bad night from the 3-point stripe, trailed 37-26 at halftime and was down 52-38 after the first five minutes of the second half.

With Northwest on top 69-59 with five minutes left in the game, Gilkey completed a three-point play in the paint and Shaw hit a jumper to trigger the Missionary comeback. After making a steal at the defensive end, Gilkey scored again inside, was fouled and added the free throw to cut Whitman's deficit to 70-67 with 3:39 remaining.

Gilkey's steal on the next Northwest possession led to a flurry of activity at the Whitman hoop, where back-to-back offensive rebounds by Duckworth and Raher were capped by Raher's putback.

With the Eagle lead down to 70-69, the two teams traded turnovers and then swapped baskets by Christie and Raher that had Northwest clinging to a 72-71 lead.

That's when Northwest took final control, sandwiching two 3-pointers around a Whitman turnover.

Whitman shot 51.4 percent (19-37 fg) from the floor in the second half despite making just three of 15 tries from the 3-point line. 

The Missionaries also outrebounded the Eagles by a 47-36 count. In addition to the 15 rebounds that Raher and Shaw collected, Whitman also got six boards from freshman Seth Brent, five from Ignas Pavilonis and four each from four other players.

Whitman plays its first two Northwest Conference games next weekend. The Missionaries play Linfield at 8 p.m. next Friday in McMinnville, Ore., and then face Lewis & Clark at 6 p.m. Saturday in Portland.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu