Men Open Conference With Resounding Win Over UPS
News Release Date:
Friday, December 7
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Whitman Men’s basketball team’s impressive 111 – 77 win over the University of Puget Sound tonight at George Ball Court not only was an auspicious conference opener, but also, served as a measure of redemption after UPS swept the season series last year and then ended the Missionaries season in the conference tournament.
Jackson Clough, Fr.
“They beat us three times last year and they ended our season, “said Whitman Head Coach, Eric Bridgeland, after the game “It was our conference opener (tonight), so any time you have a conference opener you’re excited to play. And I think we were up for this game and we’ll be up for them again. “
The Whitties came out with purpose, scoring the first 12 points of the game before 2 minutes had burned off the clock. Puget Sound got on the board with two Rex Nelson free-throws, but Whitman would continue to make shots and take leads of 20 to 4, 49 to 27, and 62 to 41 at the intermission. Whitman forward, Matt Mounier,(So, Encino, CA) and freshman guard Jackson Clough (Seattle, WA) fueled the first half attack, Cough tallying 10 points and Mounier 9 as both hit a pair of three-pointers – the Missionaries would shoot 50 % from beyond the arc for the half.
Matt Mounier, So.
Clough finished the game as the Whitties high scorer with 22, shooting a perfect 12 of 12 from the line, and 4 of 6 from the field. Mounier totaled 18 and drilled several 2nd half three-pointers that thwarted short lived spurts by the Loggers. “He (Mounier) can score”, said Bridgeland. “It’s almost as if we can’t get him the ball enough . . . you give him the ball anywhere and he can score.”
On Clough’s effort, Bridgeland remarked, “He’s so powerful and he’s good with the ball, and he’s a little stubborn and that’s a great combination to have in a guard. You can’t pressure him because he’s just tough with the ball . . . and to have him in the game late makes me feel a lot better when he’s got the ball.
After opening up a sizeable margin at half, the Missionaries did not let up in the second 20 minutes, increasing their margin to as much as 34 on two different occasions. UPS looked to make a game of it, once, when it closed to within 14 on a layup by Kohl Meyer with 17:37 left in the second half, but Whitman answered with a layup and free-throw by 6- 10 junior, Ben Eisenhardt (Bainbridge Island, WA) a three-pointer by guard Josh Duckworth (Los Angeles, CA), followed by two straight treys by Mounier that widened the lead back to 20 and the Loggers never made a serious threat again.
Puget Sound was led in scoring by Dan Cheledinas and Rex Nelson, both, with 12. Riggs Yarbro tossed in 11.
With the victory, the Missionaries extend their winning streak to 5 games, making their overall record 5 – 2. The loss drops the Loggers to 0 – 1 in conference, and 2 – 4, overall. Whitman is home Saturday night, hosting Pacific Lutheran – 6 pm tip at the Sherwood Athletic Center. The Loggers travel to Spokane to face Whitworth.