Men Start NWC Season 2 - 0 With Victory over PLU

News Release Date:
Saturday, December 8

Walla Walla, Wash. – The Whitman Men’s basketball team finished the opening weekend of conference play with a 2 – 0 start as they beat a feisty Pacific Lutheran team 81 to 68 at the Sherwood Athletic Center.

A Whitman Double Team

The Missionaries road the hot outside shooting of sophomore forward Matt Mounier (Encino, CA) to take a 19 to 11 lead with a little less than 8 minutes gone in the first half. Mounier hit 3 treys in a row and his two free throws gave the Missionaries the 8- point margin, but PLU clawed right back to within 4, on consecutive layups by wing Kai Hoyt and post Cole Parker.

The Missionaries pushed the lead back out to 9 on a layup by 6 – 10 forward Ben Eisenhardt (Bainbridge Island, WA) at the 7:28 mark. The Lutes whittled it down back to 7 by half, as Hoyt drove to the hoop with 1:22 left, tallying the last points of the first stanza.

Mounier, who led all scorers with 20, did most of his damage in the first twenty minutes, scoring 14. Guards Andrew Earnest and Daniel Landram had 10 and 9 for PLU, respectively.

Clay Callahan, So.

The second half saw the Missionaries slowly nudge their lead to double-figures. Whitman forward Ryan Gilkey (Jr, Woodinville, WA) made it 12 point game when he converted two free throws with 12:01 left, just moments after dropping in a follow-up. The Lutes would cut it to 9 with an Earnest jumper at the 9:57 mark but would get no closer as the Missionaries converted their free throws down the stretch, sinking 11 of 12 – the final two points of the game coming on a pair of free throws from forward Drew Raher (Sr, San Francisco, CA). For the game, Whitman shot 90 % from the line.

In addition to Mounier’s 20, Eisenhardt had 19 and 6 boards for Whitman and fellow Missionary Gilkey had 14 with 6 rebounds, also. Earnest and Landram shared the top scoring honors for PLU with 15 each. The Lutes shot a scalding 60 % from beyond the arc for the game.

The victory not only gives the Missionaries sole possession of first place in the NWC but also extends their winning streak to 6 games, making their overall record 6 – 2. The Lutes fall to 0 – 2 in the NWC and 2 – 7 overall.

Whitman returns to the court on December 18 when it hosts Walla Walla University at 8 pm

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