Whit Men Rally But Fall 82-76 in Overtime

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 2

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Whitman College men rallied from 17-point second-half deficit to forge a 70-70 deadlock at the end of regulation, but Lewis & Clark regained the upper hand in the extra five-minute session for an 82-76 overtime victory Saturday afternoon in Portland, Ore.

It was the Northwest Conference basketball opener for both schools.

Whitman, which dropped its final non-conference last week by two points, saw its season record fall to 6-4.

Brandon Shaw

Lewis & Clark, beset by roster problems to start the season, improved to 2-7. The Pioneers dropped three overtime decisions during its non-conference play.

Down 37-27 at halftime, Whitman fell 17 points off the pace early in the second half and still trailed by 14, 65-51, with four minutes left to play.

That's when the Missionaries used a 10-0 run to scramble back into the game. Freshman Brady Brent triggered the run with a jumper and then capped it with a 3-pointer to cut the Pioneer lead to 65-61 with 1:31 remaining.

Sophomore Brandon Shaw hit four straight free throws to pull Whitman within 67-65 with 27 seconds left on the clock. After a length-of-the-court pass gave Lewis & Clark a layup and a four-point bulge, Brent rifled home a long 3-pointer off the left wing to make it a one-point game.

Tyler Tsukasaki made one of two free throws for the Pioneers with 14 seconds left, which left Whitman junior Justin Artis plenty of time to fly through the lane for a game-tying layup.

Junior Daniel Davidson hit a jumper for Whitman early in overtime to even the game at 72-72. On the next two Missionary possessions, Shaw made one of two free throws and then scored off an inbounds play to put Whitman in front 75-74 -- its first lead since the midway point of the first half. 

Lewis & Clark regained a one-point advantage on two James Hollins free throws with two minutes left. Sophomore David Michaels countered with a Whitman free throw to produce a final tie, 76-76, at the 1:50 mark.

After the Pioneers inched in front on another free throw and Whitman misfired at its end, Josh Kollasch hit the afternoon's biggest shot -- a 3-point dagger -- with 41 seconds remaining to give the home team some breathing room.

Brady Brent

Whitman was unable to score the rest of the way as Lewis & Clark hit two of six free throws to complete the scoring.

Shaw paced Whitman with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Brent came off the bench to nail three of six 3-point shots en route to a season-high 15 points and four rebounds. Whitman also got 10 points and seven rebounds from Davidson and 11 points from Artis. 

Kelly Edwards converted 10 of 12 free throws and led Lewis & Clark with 20 points and eight rebounds. Tsukasaki was four of seven from the 3-point stripe and scored 17 points. Hollins added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Whitman as a team hit 14 of 27 shots (51.9 percent) from the floor in the second half to mount its rally. The Missionaries finished with more field goals (25 to 23) than Lewis & Clark, but the Pioneers made a killing at the free throw line, making 29 of 45 opportunities. Whitman was 20 of 28 from the charity stripe.

After an Artis 3-pointer opened the game's scoring, Lewis & Clark bounced ahead 9-5. Freshman LuQuam Thompson drilled another Whitman long ball to even the score at 13-13 with 12 minutes left in the first half. Freshamn Drew Raher scored off his own offensive rebound and Shaw hit a jumper to give the Missionaries a 17-14 lead with 10:34 left on the first-half clock.

Lewis & Clark, which tallied 11 of its first 14 points from the free throw line, inched in front 17-16 on two more freebies. Tsukasaki then connected three times from 3-point range to spark the Pioneers to their 10-point halftime lead.

Whitman stays in western Oregon to play Willamette at 3 p.m. Sunday in Willamette. Lewis & Clark stays at home to host Whitworth at the same time on Sunday.

Box Score

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