Lutes Make Free Throws, Edge Whit BB Men

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 8

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- In a game where offenses sputtered and points were hard to come by, Pacific Lutheran made 28 of 31 free throws and edged Whitman College 61-57 in men's basketball action Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

   Pac. Lutheran 61,
Whitman 57

  Box Score

Pacific Lutheran squared its Northwest Conference record at 2-2 and raised its overall mark to 7-5.

Whitman, seeing its six-game winning streak snapped, finished the weekend at 8-5 and 1-3.

Peter Clark

Pacific Lutheran wrapped a back-and-forth first half with a 32-29 advantage, but Whitman rallied early in the second stanza to take leads of 36-34 and 41-40.

The Lutes regained the lead for good on their next possession when Victor Bull put back his own miss with 13 minutes left on the clock. The visitors then held Whitman at bay the rest of the way, scoring 13 of their last 19 points from the free throw stripe.

After Pacific Lutheran extended its lead to 46-41, Whitman closed to within two points on three occasions over a three-minute span. Seth Brent and Peter Clark hit 3-pointers to keep the Missionaries close, and David Michaels hit two free throws to cut the Lutes lead to 51-49 with 7:42 remaining.

Buckets by Andrew Earnest, Kyle MacTaggart and Kole Podowicz inflated Pacific Lutheran's lead to eight points, but Michaels and Ryan Gilkey scored inside for Whitman, and Brandon Shaw picked off a pass and finished at the other end to pull the Missionaries to within 57-55 at the 2:37 mark.

After the two teams traded a pair of free throws, two turnovers inside the final minute sealed Whitman's doom. Bull added two free throws with five seconds left on the clock to finish the scoring.

MacTaggart, who made all 10 of his free throws, paced the Lutes with 15 points and eight rebounds. Bull and Cameron Schilling were a combined 12 of 13 from the line in scoring 14 points apiece.  Both players also grabbed eight boards each.

Clark nailed five 3-pointers for Whitman for a team-high 15 points. Michaels finished with 11 points and eight rebounds while Josh Duckworth collected nine points and six boards.

Whitman outboarded the Lutes 43-36 for the game and had three more field goals (19-16), but Pacific Lutheran compensated by outscoring the home team by 15 points at the free throw line.

The first half was a series of spurts for both teams. With the Lutes in front 12-7, Whitman uncorked a 13-3 run triggered by Clark's 3-pointer and capped by Michaels finishing a three-point play in the paint.

The Lutes answered with seven straight points -- getting five from the free throw line -- to slice the Missionary lead to 20-19 with four-plus minutes left in the half. The two sides deadlocked at 23 and 25 before Whitman regained the lead at 29-27 when Clark connected on his third 3-pointer.

MacTaggart came right back with a three for the Lutes with 29 seconds remaining. Bull also drew a foul on the play and made both free throws to give Pacific Lutheran a 32-29 lead at intermission.

Whitman has two NWC road games set for next week -- Friday at Willamette and Saturday at George Fox.

Pacific Lutheran hosts Puget Sound on Tuesday and Lewis & Clark on Friday.

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