Whit Men's BB Flattens Boxers in Wire-to-Wire Victory
News Release Date:
Saturday, January 14
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- After breaking free from an early 4-4 deadlock, Whitman College unholstered a variety of weapons and slowly but surely dismantled Pacific in a wire-to-wire 81-66 men's basketball victory Saturday night in Sherwood Center.
Whitman moved into a tie for second place in the Northwest Conference, improving to 4-2 and 11-4 overall.
Pacific, losing for the fifth time in six games, slid to 2-4 in the NWC and 8-7 on the season.
Whitman led by as many as 12 points in the first half, was up 36-28 at the break and stretched its lead to as many as 19 points at 69-50 with 5:45 left to play.
The Boxers closed the gap to 77-64 with two minutes left, but two more Missionary hoops sealed the home-floor victory.
Lightening quick sophomore guard LuQuam Thompson was coldly efficient, making nine of 10 free throws and three of four shots from the floor to match his season-high with 15 points.
Bruising junior forward Drew Raher was just as economical, matching his season scoring high with 12 points on five-of-six shooting from the floor. Raher, who leads the NWC in 3-point accuracy at over 50 percent, made both of his Saturday night shots from long distance.
Junior wing Peter Clark, Whitman's most prolific 3-point threat, hit four times from beyond the arc for 12 points.
Ben Eisenhardt, a 6-foot-10 forward, added eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
Freshman Matt Mounier was good for seven points, five boards, two assists and two steals, while 6-foot-9 sophomore Ryan Gilkey added seven points and five rebounds.
Sophomore Josh Duckworth handed out four assists to go with five points, and senior D.J. Wright came off the bench for six points, three rebounds and one of Whitman's four blocked shots.
Whitman, which shot 48.3 percent from the floor as a team, battled Pacific to a 31-31 stalemate on the backboards and forced the Boxers into 20 turnovers.
Led by Charles Mosley and Colin Wester, who combined for 30 points and 14 rebounds, Pacific shot a toasty 57.1 percent from the floor but couldn't overcome the possessions lost to turnovers.
The Boxers also got nine points from Joey Burns and seven points apiece from Marc Eppinger and Coby Proctor.
In a sign of things to come, Thompson and Raher scored Whitman's first two buckets and the Missionaries held the Boxers scoreless for the game's first three minutes.
After Pacific forged the game's only tie on two Mosley baskets, sophomore Jordan Dickson and Clark wrapped 3-pointers around a layin by Wright to give Whitman an early 12-4 lead.
A Duckworth jumper, Thompson free throw and Clark 3-point bomb handed the Missionaries their largest lead of the first half at 27-15 with 6:38 remaining before intermission.
A Proctor three, two free throws by David Berney and a layup by Dustin Bowser helped keep the Boxers close at halftime.
Clark and junior Ignas Pavilonis hit Whitman threes early in the second half, but Mosley and Wester scored inside to shrink the Missionary lead to 44-38 with 15 minutes still left to play.
But Raher answered with a two and Clark added another three to keep the Boxers at bay. With its lead at 53-46, Whitman uncorked a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to put the game out of reach.
Whitman goes on the road for its next four NWC games, starting with an 8 p.m. game Tuesday against Whitworth in Spokane.
Pacific plays Lewis & Clark in Portland next Friday and then hosts Pacific Lutheran next Saturday.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org