Whit Men Dig 20-Point Hole, Fall to Bruins

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 31

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- George Fox jumped in front by 20 points in the first half and then outlasted Whitman College down the stretch for a 77-71 Northwest Conference men's basketball victory Saturday night in Newberg, Ore.

The outcome left the two teams with identical records at 3-7 in the NWC and 7-12 overall. Whitman downed George Fox 94-86 early last month in Walla Walla.

Brandon Shaw

Brandon Shaw, Whitman's freshman guard, led all scorers with a career-high 26 points.

Senior Chris Faidley added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Missionaries, who also got 12 points from junior Jordan Wheeler and seven points and seven rebounds from freshman Juan Pablo Alvarez.

After falling behind 40-20 with 3:07 left in the first half, Whitman scrambled back to within 43-30 at the break, thanks in part to Wheeler's 3-pointer with 27 seconds left.

George Fox pushed its lead back to as many as 18 points in the second half and still led by 17, 65-48, with 7:55 left to play. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Faidley and Shaw, followed by an Alvarez layup, capped an 10-0 Whitman run that narrowed the Missionary gap to 65-58 with 3:24 remaining.

Twenty seconds after hitting a jumper, Faidley converted three free throws to make it 68-63 with 1:57 left on the clock. The two sides traded baskets and free throws, but Faidley's jumper at the 1:09 mark had Whitman within reach at 72-66.

Chris Faidley

Freshman David Michaels knocked down two more Whitman free throws with 11 seconds left to cut the George Fox lead to four points, but the Bruins responded with five free throws of their own in the closing seconds to nail down the win.

In building its big first-half lead, George Fox was good on 14 of 25 shots from the floor (56 percent). Whitman hit just nine of 32 shots (28.1 percent) in the opening 20 minutes of play.

With his 14 points, Faidley boosted his career scoring total to 1,614, moving past Walla Walla's Dave Mastin into fourth place on the all-time Whitman scoring ladder.

Mastin, who finished his Missionary career during the 1986-87 season, scored 1,605 points. Faidley needs just 26 points to climb into the No. 2 spot at Whitman.

After having played its last four games on the road, Whitman looks ahead to playing four of its final six contests at home in Sherwood Center. The Missionaries host Linfield and Willamette next Friday and Saturday, with both games starting at 8 p.m. 

Box Score

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