Men's BB Team Gets Early National Ranking

News Release Date:
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Coming off its most successful season in 20-plus years, the Whitman College men's basketball team is ranked No. 30 in an NCAA Division III preseason poll conducted by the website.

Whitman made a late-season charge last winter, winning 16 of 18 games late in the season to finish in a second-place tie in the Northwest Conference.

The Missionaries capped that surge with a thrilling 82-79 victory over previous unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Whitworth before a packed crowd in Sherwood Center.

Whitman got past Lewis & Clark in the first round of the NWC playoffs before losing at Whitworth in the post-season title tilt. That game was dead even early in the second half before the Pirates pulled away.

Whitman, which finished the season with a 19-8 record, returns all but one starter.

"Our last two classes of graduating seniors, as well as our returners, have sacrificed and worked very hard to get our program to this point," Whitman coach Eric Bridgeland says.  

"Although this is just a preseason ranking, one always wants to be respected for the efforts they put forth."

Whitman, which hosts an alumni game this Sunday at Bellevue Community College, kicks off its season at home in mid-November.

The Missionaries welcomes Washington University (St. Louis) and UC-Santa Cruz to Sherwood Center on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19.

Following two games in late November in California, Whitman plays two early NWC games at home in early December.

Whitman hosts George Fox on Friday, Dec. 2, and Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Dec. 3.

The remainder of Whitman's conference games are slated for January and February.

Coach Eric Bridgeland and his players salute their fans after a playoff win last season.

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