Whitman Men Pummel Third Straight Basketball Foe

News Release Date:
Tuesday, December 20

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Pummeling its third straight opponent and winning its fourth straight basketball game, Whitman College raced past Iowa's Buena Vista University by a whopping 75-38 margin in Tuesday afternoon men's tournament action in San Antonio, Texas.

Whitman 75,
Buena Vista 38

Box Score

Whitman, now 7-2 on the season, nailed five of its first seven 3-point shots in bolting to a 24-7 lead in the first seven minutes of play.

Buena Vista, now 4-6, plays in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Beavers were picked to finish second in the IIAC this winter in a preseason coaches poll.

   Drew Raher: Three of four from 3-point stripe
                                             Photos by Greg Lehman

Whitman is one of six Northwest Conference schools in San Antonio for the Trinity University National Invitational Tournament. The Missionaries play a second tourney game at 1 p.m. (Pacific time) Wednesday against Wheaton.

For the most part, Tuesday's game was no contest as Whitman pinned 5-0, 10-1 and 19-5 deficits on Buena Vista. Juniors Peter Clark and Ignas Pavilonis hit two 3-pointers apiece during the early scoring spree.

Buena Vista broke the Missionary dominance with an 11-0 run, closing the gap to 24-18 with eight minutes left in the half. But junior Drew Raher and senior David Michaels responded with two more threes, pushing the Whitman edge to 30-20.

After sophomore Josh Duckworth scored off a steal by sophomore LuQuam Thompson, freshman Matt Mounier knocked down two free throws for a 34-20 Missionary advantage with 2:37 remaining. The Beavers finished the half on a 6-2 spurt, scoring four of their points at the free throw line, to trail 36-26 at the break.

Buena Vista tallied the first two points of the second half, but a 16-2 Whitman response over the next seven minutes broke the game open.

Duckworth started the run with a three-point play in the paint, Raher added a steal and layin, and senior Brandon Shaw put back an offensive rebound.

Sophomore Jordan Dickson, after picking off a steal to spark a Pavilonis fastbreak bucket, connected from the 3-point arc for a 50-30 Whitman lead with 12:24 left in the game.

Raher and Clark drained the next two Missionary treys, extending the differential to 62-34. A 3-point strike by 6-foot-10 sophomore Ben Eisenhardt triggered a 13-0 closing spurt that gave Whitman its largest lead of the night at 75-36.

Ignas Pavilonis

Buena Vista notched the final bucket with 37 seconds remaining to complete the scoring.

Whitman made 11 of 23 three-point attempts on the night and shot 41.9 percent from the floor overall. The Missionaries out-rebounded the Beavers 41 to 30 and collected 14 steals while forcing 22 turnovers.

Buena Vista was just one of 14 from the 3-point stripe and shot just 28.2 percent (11-39) from the field.

Michaels paced a balanced Whitman attack with 11 points and seven rebounds. A total of 14 Missionaries scored.

Raher, who also tallied 11 points, made three of four attempts from long distance. He continues to lead the NWC in 3-point accuracy, having made 12 of 21 shots (57.1 percent) on the season.

Whitman also got nine points and seven rebounds from Duckworth, eight points from Pavilonis, and six points and six rebounds from Shaw.

Mounier and Clark added seven and six points, respectively. Other contributors included Eisenhardt (5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists), Thompson (4 assists, 3 points, 3 rebounds) and senior D.J. Wright (3 steals).

Shaw finished his night with 1,255 career points, which ties him for ninth place on Whitman's all-time scoring list with 1958 graduate Bob Becker.

Jeff Janssen with 14 points was the only Buena Vista player scoring in double figures.

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