Men's Basketball Resumes NWC Action Friday & Saturday at Lewis & Clark and Pacific

News Release Date:
Thursday, January 3, 2013

Walla Walla, WA – With the Holidays behind them, the Whitman Men’s Basketball team returns to conference play in earnest this weekend as it hits the road to face Lewis & Clark on Friday and Pacific University on Saturday. The trip commences a 9 day stretch where the Missionaries will play four road games, including a Tuesday night affair at Whitworth.

Guard Josh Duckworth, Jr.

Whitman looks to rebound from a tough home loss against Hamline University last Saturday – the outcome snapping their 8-game winning streak. The Missionaries are 8 – 3 overall and their 2 – 0 conference record puts them atop the early season standings with #6 Whitworth. The Pioneers are 6 – 5 on the year and 0 – 2 in the NWC.

L & C owns two of the top sharp-shooters in the conference with guard Serg Ovchinnikov leading the NWC in three-point FG percentage at 48 % and guard Jason Luhnow fourth best at 44.5 %. Whitman counters with the second leading scoring average in the nation at 95.6 points per game, led by junior forward Ben Eisenhardt (Jr, Bainbridge Island, WA), whose 17 points per game is third highest in conference, and his recent excellent all-around play earned him the NWC Student Athlete of the Week.

The Pioneers won both games in last season’s head-to-head matchup.

In Forest Grove on Saturday, the Missionaries will meet a Pacific team that enters the weekend 6 – 3 overall and yet to play a conference game. After dropping its first two games, the Boxers have won 6 of their last 7. Forward Daniel Zitani leads a pair of hard rebounding players, averaging 7.6 boards; his partner in crime, guard Colin Wester, plucks down 7.1, placing them third and fifth in the conference respectively. Whitman’s Eisenhardt is fourth at 7.3.

The Missionaries swept the season series last year with the Boxers and have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.

Tip-off for Friday’s game at Lewis & Clark is 8 pm; Saturday’s at Pacific is 6 pm.

Live video for the Lewis & Clark games can be found at http://lcpioneers.com/; the Pacific games at http://goboxers.com/webcasts and live stats at http://goboxers.com/livestats.

The W Club will hold receptions during the intermissions at the Lewis & Clark games Friday. Men’s Head Coach, Eric Bridgeland, will speak at halftime of the Women’s game. Athletic Director, Dean Snider, will address folks before the Men’s game, and Women’s Head Coach, Michelle Ferenz, will talk at halftime of the Men’s game.

News & Notes:  the Whitman lead the conference in scoring with 1,052 . . . Puget Sound is 2nd with 841 . . . Whitman forward Ryan Gilkey ranks first in FG percentage 67.3 %.

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