Loggers Scoot Past Whit Men 66-64 With Late Basketball Buckets

News Release Date:
Saturday, February 4

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Riggs Yarbro canned a pair of short jumpers in the final 90 seconds to lift Puget Sound to a 66-64 Northwest Conference men's basketball victory over Whitman College Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

Puget Sound 66,
Whitman 64

  Box Score

The victory pulled Puget Sound in a three-way tie for second place with Whitman and George Fox.

All three schools head to the final two weeks of the season with 8-4 conference records.

Puget Sound, now 16-5 on the season, trailed by two points after Whitman senior David Michaels drove the baseline for a layup while drawing a foul on Yarbro.

Ignas Pavilonis

Michaels made the free throw for a 64-62 Missionary lead with 2:06 left to play. But Yarbro beat the shot clock with a short jumper in the key to even the count at 64-all with 1:31 remaining.

After Whitman missed at its end, Yarbro drifted to the left of the key for what proved to be the game-winning jumper with 31 seconds left on the clock.

After one pass was deflected out of bounds on its final possession, Whitman got the ball to sophomore guard Josh Duckworth, who drove through congestion to the hoop -- only to see his point-blank shot pop off the back iron.

Drew Raher

The rebound was knocked out of bounds with Puget Sound getting possession and less than a second left on the clock.

Riggs finnished his night with 13 points and was one of four Loggers scoring in double digits. Kaleb Shelton had a game-high 17 points while Edric Egberuare combined 12 points with nine rebounds.

Anthony Gittens added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Loggers before fouling out late in the game.

Michaels led Whitman with 16 points, five assists and four rebounds. Junior Ignas Pavilonis hit four 3-pointers, good for 12 points, while junior Drew Raher chipped in with 10 points for the Missionaries.

Duckworth had eight points, six assists and six rebounds for Whitman.

Whitman harassed the Loggers into 21 turnovers while making a total of 10 three-point baskets, twice as many as Puget Sound. Pavilonis had three of Whitman's 11 steals.

But the Loggers compensated with a 43-27 rebounding advantage and shot 47.9 percent from the floor on the night.

Puget Sound led 37-35 at halftime and moved in front by five when Shelton hit a 3-pointer early in the second stanza.

LuQuam Thompson

Whitman regained command with a 15-3 run over the next four minutes. After sophomore LuQuam Thompson started the flurry with two free throws, Michaels spun through the lane for a basket and Raher drilled a three from the left corner, edging the Missionaries on top 42-40.

Egberuare answered with a three for the Loggers, but Thompson put back an offensive rebound and Pavilonis and Micheals followed with two more 3-point strikes.

The outburst staked Whitman to a 50-43 lead, but Puget Sound scrambled back to within two on 7-2 mini-run. Two more Thompson free throws and a Pavilonis 3-pointer gave the Missionaries a 57-52 cushion with less than nine minutes left.

With the clock slipping below the seven-minute mark, sophomore Ben Eisenhardt rolled through the lane for a basket and a 61-57 Missionary lead.

But with Whitman's offense sputtering a bit, the Loggers reeled off the next five points to sneak in front 62-61 with 2:23 left. That's when Michaels made it to the hoop for a three-point play that produced Whitman's last lead of the night at 64-62.

The Loggers trailed for much of the first half and were down 23-18 after Duckworth hit a jumper with eight minutes left.

Whtiman was up 33-29 after Michaels canned a three with four minutes remaining in the opening half, but Puget Sound responded with eight of the next 10 points to lead by two at the break.

Whitman, which dropped a five-point decision to Puget Sound last month in Tacoma, makes its final road trip of the regular season next weekend, playing games in western Oregon at Pacific on Friday and Linfield on Saturday.

The Missionaries then return home to conclude the regular season with games on Tuesday, Feb. 14, against Whitworth and Friday, Feb. 17, against Willamette.

- 30 -

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