Michaels Erupts for 40 Points, Powers Whitman Men Past Bruins

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 28

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With his side trailing by one point early in the second half, Whitman College senior David Michaels outscored the other guys 17-3 over the next seven minutes, powering the Missionaries to an 82-62 victory over George Fox Saturday night in Newberg, Ore.

Whitman 82,
George Fox 62

  Box Score

In what was a battle for a share of second place in the Northwest Conference, Michaels continued his spectacular season by torching the nets for a career-high 40 points while grabbing six rebounds and seven steals.

The victory, coming one night after Michaels matched his previous career high with 31 points in a losing cause at Lewis & Clark, keeps Whitman in second place in the NWC with a 7-3 record.

Whitman, now 14-5 on the season, dropped George Fox to 6-4 in conference and 9-10 overall.

David Michaels

In scoring his 17 straight points for the Missionaries, Michaels lifted Whitman into a 58-45 lead with eight minutes left in the game.

After the Bruins closed the gap to 58-50, Michaels continued his one-man scoring show, drilling his fourth 3-pointer of the half and then adding a jumper.

Those two baskets gave him 22 consecutive Missionary points and cued a game-clinching 13-0 run that had Whitman in front 71-50 with little more than three minutes left.

The agile 6-foot-7 forward added to the team's final surge by knocking down three straight free throws after being fouled on a shot attempt from beyond the 3-point arc.

Michaels hit the 40-point mark by making 14 of 17 shots from the floor, including four of five attempts from the 3-point line, and eight of nine free throws. His only misses from long distance and the charity stripe came in the game's final 90 seconds.

His 40 points is the most by a Whitman player since Chris Faidley capped his senior season by blitzing Linfield for 42 in January of 2009.

Oddly enough, Michaels started that game as a freshman but played just seven minutes and did not score.

Drew Raher, a junior forward, also enjoyed a productive Saturday night for the Missionaries. He made four of his seven shots from the floor, including two of four from long distance, and was Whitman's only other player in double digits with 13 points.

Raher, who leads the NWC in 3-point shooting percentage, also grabbed five rebounds, handed out two assists and picked off two steals.

Whitman, which led 36-34 at halftime, got points and rebounds from all ten of the players who checked into the game.

Ben Eisenhardt, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, came off the bench for seven points and four rebounds. Sophomore guard Josh Duckworth added six points and four assists.

With Michaels leading the way, Whitman shot 54.3 percent (25-46) from the floor for the night. The Missionaries made eight of 16 three-point tries and were 24 of 28 from the free throw line.

Whitman also out-rebounded the Bruins 32-17.

Four Bruins scored in double figures and accounted for all but six of the team's points. Sean Atkins paced the home team with 20 points while Mike Taylor had 13. Anthony Sanchez and Spencer Bolte added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Michaels, who started the night as the second-leading scorer in the NWC, lifted his season average to 18.9 points per game.

He is shooting 56 percent from the floor and 80.6 percent from the free throw line. He is 19 of 43 (44.2 percent) from the 3-point arc on the season.

From Whitman's perspective, Saturday's victory makes amends for a 57-48 loss to George Fox last December in Walla Walla. The Missionaries shot poorly in that game with Michaels posting 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Whitman returns home next weekend to host Pacific Lutheran on Friday and Puget Sound on Saturday. Both games start at 8 p.m. in Sherwood Center.

Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound also won games tonight and tied with Whitman with second place in the NWC standings.

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