Men's 8-Game Winning Streak Ended as Hamline Edges The Whitties
News Release Date:
Saturday, December 29
Walla Walla, Wash – Hamline University outlasted the Missionaries in a hard fought, physical game at the Sherwood Athletic Center, 92 – 89, ending Whitman’s 8-game winning streak.
Drew Raher, Sr.
The Missionaries are, now, 8 – 3 on the year; the Pipers improve to 5 – 3, as they continue their westward swing with a game against Whitworth in Spokane on New Year’s Eve.
Down 85 – 75 with 2:48 to play, Whitman made a final run at Hamline. Dominick Lippi (Fr, Alameda, CA) dropped in a follow-up, Josh Duckworth (Jr, Los Angeles, CA) made a steal and layup, and followed it with a driving layin to cut the margin to 4 with 1.25 remaining. Hamline countered with a layup by Dior Ford, as the Pilots broke the Missionaries full-court press. Drew Raher (Sr, San Francisco, CA) hit two free throws to bring the Whitties back to within four, but Hamline got another deuce by point-guard Ryan Welsh.
Duckworth was fouled and coolly hit two free throws to, again, make the margin 4 with 42.6 seconds left. The Pilots got a free throw and a layup from guard Marshall Jestings sandwiched in-between two Ben Eisenhardt (Jr, Bainbridge Islands, WA) buckets – the second coming with just .8 seconds left on the clock. Running the baseline, Welsh successfully inbounded to Ford and the final buzzer sounded.
Whitman came out of the blocks fast in the first half, taking a 9-to-nothing lead with less than 3 minutes played, but Hamline answered with a 7-nothing streak of its own. Whitman then rattled off 6-straight points, culminating in two free throws by Tochi Oti (Fr, Los Angeles, CA)to make the score 15 – 7. But the Pilots kept fighting back and narrowed the gap to just one by halftime, 42 – 41. The hard-nosed play of the first half saw both teams eclipse the double-bonus in fouls, Hamline converting 77 % of their foul shots, the Missionaries 67 %.
In the first twenty minutes, Whitman was paced by guard Peter Clark’s (Sr, Flagstaff, AZ) 9 points (he ended with a team-high 18, on 6 of 8 shooting from beyond the arc) while the Pilot’s Noah Aguirre matched Clark’s 9, making hay from the charity strip, sinking all four attempts.
For the game, Hamline’s Ford topped all scorers with 19, Welsh had 17, hitting 3 of 5 from three-point land, and Aguirre finished with 11.
Duckworth added 14 for the Missionaries with Raher tallying 13, and Eisenhardt 10, accounting for players in double-figures.
The Pilots ability to frequently break Whitman’s press proved to be the key, as Hamline shot 60 % for the game, and 69 % in the second half (20-29).
Whitman returns to action on January 4th when it travels to Lewis & Clark for an 8 pm tip. W Club events will be held at halftime of both the Men’s and Women’s games and during the in-between game intermission. Both Basketball coaches, Michelle Ferenz and Eric Bridgeland will give talks along with Athletic Director, Dean Snider. The following night, the Missionaries invade Pacific University for a 6 pm matchup.
News & Notes: Ben Eisenhardt was voted the Northwest Conference Student Athlete of the Week for his two games against Simpson College and Walla Walla University. Eisenhardt scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds vs. Simpson and 12 and 7 against WWU, averaging 20.5 points and 9 rebounds over the 2-game span . . . Sr. forward Ignas Pavilonis returned to action tonight after missing several games with a foot injury, playing 4 minutes, scoring 3 points and forcing 2 steals . . . Philip Chircu, 6-7 forward from Ryde, Australia made his Whitman debut, playing 7 minutes and making 1 steal.