Men Rally, Fall Short in Loss to Linfield

News Release Date:
Friday, February 6

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- After slicing a 12-point halftime deficit to two points late in the game, Whitman College let Linfield College wriggle off the hook with a 76-68 men's basketball victory Friday night in Sherwood Center.

Led by Cody Tesoro's 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Linfield improved to 6-5 in the Northwest Conference and 8-12 overall. Whitman, which got 21 points from Brandon Shaw and 20 more from Jordan Wheeler, saw its record fall to 3-8 and 7-13.

Ahead 41-29 at halftime, Linfield extended its lead to 17 points at 53-36 in the first four minutes of the second half. Whitman struck back with a 15-3 scoring spurt, capped by Wheeler's seven straight points, to trim Whitman's deficit to 56-51 with 11:19 left to play.

A K.C. Wiser bucket had Linfield back in front by nine points with nine minutes left, but Whitman rallied again and Chris Faidley drilled a 3-pointer to cut the Wildcat cushion to 62-59 at the 7:17 mark. Jumpers by Wheeler and Shaw twice pulled the Missionaries to within two points, the last time at 65-63 with 4:41 remaining. Linfield responded with six unanswered points over the next three minutes to sew up the victory.

Wiser had 18 points and eight rebounds for Linfield, and Erik Olson added 15 points to the Wildcat cause.

Faidley finished with 10 points and six rebounds for Whitman. David Michaels collared a team-high seven rebounds to go with five points for the Missionaries.

Despite an off shooting night, Faidley's 10 points were enough to move the senior guard one step higher on Whitman's all-time scoring list. With his career scoring total reaching 1,624 points, he moved into third place, passing 1991 graduate Keith Orchard and his 1,621 total.

Faidley, who leads the NWC in scoring at 20.8 points per game, needs 16 points to climb into the No. 2 spot on the all-time Missionary scoring list.

Shaw's 21 points boosted his season scoring average to 17.5 points per game, which ranks him third in the NWC.

Whitman stays at home Saturday to host Willamette at 8 p.m. in Sherwood Center. Linfield travels to Spokane, Wash., on Saturday for an 8 p.m. game against Whitworth. 

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