Whit BB Men Return, Roll Past Immaculata
News Release Date:
Monday, December 27
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Back in action for the first time in more than two weeks, Whitman College knocked off Pennsylvania's Immaculata University 62-56 Monday evening as part of the Cactus Jam men's basketball tournament in Phoenix, Ariz.
Whitman, winning its third straight game, climbed above the .500 mark for the season, improving to 5-4.
Immaculata, which competes as part of the NCAA Division III Colonial States Athletic Conference, saw its season record slip to 2-6.
Sophomore Peter Clark hit five 3-pointers and paced a balanced Whitman attack with 16 points. Ignas Pavilonis, also a sophomore, connected three times from beyond the arc while scoring 11 points.
Drew Raher, a third sophomore, made four of six shots from the floor to finish with nine points. Junior Brandon Shaw and freshman Josh Duckworth chipped in with eight points apiece, combining to can seven of 14 field goal tries.
Whitman jumped in front at the outset, scoring the game's first 10 points. Raher triggered the run with a jumper and added a three that flowed from a Shaw assist.
After senior Justin Artis fed Clark for his first 3-pointer, a Pavilonis steal led to a layup by junior David Michaels. That gave the Missionaries a 10-0 bulge with 17:25 still left on the first-half clock.
Duckworth's layup at the 12:58 mark gave Whitman a 16-4 lead, but the Mighty Macs came charging back to take a 26-24 lead with 5:33 left. The Missionaries regained command, closing out the half on a 12-0 run to lead 36-26 at the break. Pavilonis fueled the late first-half run with five points.
Clark drained a 3-pointer and Artis dunked to stretch Whitman's advantage to 14 points, 41-27, early in the second half. Raher's jumper with 14:49 left in the game returned the Missionary lead to 14 points at 43-29.
Immaculata closed to within five points midway through the second half, but jumpers by Duckworth and Shaw followed by two Shaw free throws made it 52-41 Whitman with 6:30 left on the clock.
Three-pointers by Clark and Pavilonis, both assisted by Artis, kept the Missionaries safely in front down the stretch.
Kendall Peters nailed Immaculata's only three of the night to trim Whitman's lead to 60-54 with 1:38 remaining. The Missionaries made just two of six free throws in the final 68 seconds to make the final score closer than it needed to be.
Robert Siter and Nelson Torres led the Mighty Macs with 22 and 11 points, respectively.
Whitman won the turnover differential, committing just nine miscues while forcing the Mighty Macs into 25.
The Missionaries also worked their way to a 40-37 advantage on the backboards. Freshman center Ryan Gilkey led the way with a game-high 11 rebounds while Michaels collected seven more.
Whitman plays a second game at the Cactus Jam tourney when it battles Iowa's Simpson College at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The tournament is taking place at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix.
Whitman plays its final game of the 2010 calendar year when it visits California's University of Redlands for a 5 p.m. game on Thursday.
The Missionaries resume Northwest Conference play when they host Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 7-8.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org