Halftime Lead Fails to Hold for Whit BB Men

News Release Date:
Friday, December 3

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A one-point halftime lead failed to hold as the Whitman College men opened their Northwest Conference basketball season with a 72-62 loss to Linfield Friday night in McMinnville, Ore.

Linfield 72,
Whitman 62

Box Score

While junior guard Brandon Shaw scored 24 points and made five steals to pace Whitman, Sergio Rosario countered with 24 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats.

Brandon Shaw

Whitman, slipping to 2-3 on the season, led 30-29 at the break and stayed within reach throughout the second half despite shooting just 31.8 percent from the floor for the game. That included a seven-of-34 showing from the 3-point line.

The Missionaries also hurt their own cause by making just 13 of 26 free throws. Linfield was 19 of 22 from the line in the second half alone and outscored Whitman by 14 points at the charity stripe.

"Our guys did everything but put the ball in the basket," Whitman coach Eric Bridgeland said. "I can't imagine a group of guys playing any harder or more together than they did tonight."

Whitman's halftime lead vanished when Linfield's Ryan Lobdell canned a 3-pointer to open the second half.

Ryan Gilkey

Two free throws by senior Justin Artis and a jumper by freshman Ryan Gilkey pulled the Missionaries even at 34-34 and 36-36. Assisted by Shaw, Gilkey drained another jumper with 15:11 left to give Whitman its last lead of the night at 41-40.

Jumpers by Gilkey and Shaw produced two more deadlocks on the scoreboard, the last one at 45-45 with 13:13 remaining.

The Wildcats broke in front 55-47 over the next four minutes, and the home team led 64-54 with 3:28 left on the clock.

Whitman made another charge, getting a Clark 3-pointer and three points from Shaw to close the gap to 64-60 with 1:40 remaining.

Shaw answered two Wildcat free throws with another jumper to again make it a four-point game with 47 seconds still on the clock, but Linfield converted six more free throws with its final possessions to pull away.

The Missionaries fell behind early in the game and trailed 22-15 with 7:10 left in the first half, but Shaw hit a jumper, was fouled and added the free throw to trigger a Missionary rally. Clark followed with a 3-pointer to slice Whitman's deficit to a 22-21.

After the Wildcats widened their lead back to four, junior David Michaels hit a basket and Shaw nailed a trey to put Whitman on top 26-25. Michaels and sophomore Drew Raher hit single free throws and Shaw knocked down a jumper with 13 seconds remaining to give the Missionaries their one-point edge at intermission.

Shaw made 10 of his 18 shots from the floor, including two of three attempts from the 3-point arc. Gilkey, one of three Missionaries to combine nine points with four rebounds, was good on four of his six field goal attempts.

Clark and Raher also finished with nine points and four boards.

Whitman nearly held its own on the backboards, coming up short by a slim 43-40 margin. Artis led the way with eight rebounds while sophomore Ignas Pavilonis pulled down six.

Linfield, now 3-1 on the season, also got 13 points and 13 rebounds K.C. Wiser, its 6-foot-8 senior post.

Whitman is in Portland Saturday for a 6 p.m. game at Lewis & Clark.

- 30 - 

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