Men's Hoops Vie for First Place When They Visit Whitworth Tomorrow Night

News Release Date:
Monday, January 7, 2013

Walla Walla, WA – The Whitman Men’s Basketball team takes its 3 – 1 Northwest Conference record and 9 – 4 overall mark into Whitworth Fieldhouse tomorrow night to face the #5 ranked Pirates (12 – 1 overall and 4 – 0 in the NWC).  Tip-off is at 8 pm.

After the weekend games, the Missionaries have sole possession of second place and a win tomorrow would pull them even with the Bucs. George Fox and Willamette are tied for third at 2 – 1. The Missionaries/Whitworth game is the only NWC contest on tomorrow’s schedule.

Missionaries receive instructions from Head Coach Eric Bridgeland

Whitworth’s only loss came against #2 ranked St. Thomas back on November 17. The Pirates have won 12 in a row since. The Bucs present a very balanced attack; although only one player ranks in the top ten in NWC scoring per game – guard Dustin McConnell (9th) at 12.6 – Whitworth has four players averaging in double figures: McConnell, George Valle, Wade Gebbers, and Colton McCargar.

Whitman’s high flying attack has three players in the top 12 in conference scoring. Junior forward Ben Eisenhardt is third, averaging 15.8 points; sophomore guard Matt Mounier is sixth with 14.3; junior guard Josh Duckworth is twelfth with 12.3. Duckworth scored a career-high 34 last Friday at Lewis & Clark.

The Whitties are still one of the top scoring teams in the nation, averaging 93.2 per contest – that is third best in Division 3, behind only Concordia (TX) and Grinnell. Whitman’s scoring margin is 13 points, ranking them 28th in the nation. Whitworth’s defense holds opponents to an average of 63 points per game, which is second best in the NWC, just behind Pacific Lutheran at 62.9.

The teams split last year’s head-to-head series, each winning in the others backyard. The Missionaries grabbed a 77 – 66 victory in Spokane and the Pirates returned the favor a few weeks later at George Ball Court, 81 – 74. The schools split the regular season series two seasons ago, also, but Whitworth beat the Whitties in a third game in the NWC Championship final. The Pirates have won 7 of the last 9 matchups.

Tomorrow night’s contest can be viewed on streaming video by clicking on: mms://; for live stats:; and for just audio:


Andrew Holt

Whitman Sports Information Director