Whit Men Outlast Bearcats in Overtime
News Release Date:
Saturday, February 7
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Scoring the game's last seven points, the Whitman College men's basketball team squeezed past Willamette University 88-84 in overtime Saturday night in Sherwood Center.
With Chris Faidley scoring 25 points and Jordan Wheeler adding 19, Whitman rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to run its record to 4-8 in the Northwest Conference and 8-13 on the season.
Willamette, which got a monster game from Cameron Mitchell (25 points, 23 rebounds), slipped to 5-7 in conference and 9-10 overall. Kyler McClary added a game-high 28 points for the Bearcats.
After scoring the last two points of regulation to forge an 80-80 tie, Willamette jumped into an 84-81 lead through the first three minutes of overtime. But Wheeler drove the lane for two points and added a 3-pointer on Whitman's next possession to put the Missionaries in front to stay. Faidley and Brandon Shaw, who scored 13 points, added free throws in the closing seconds to complete the scoring.
The two teams battled on even terms through much of the first 20 minutes of play. Whitman inched in front 23-22 on Shaw's two free throws with 6:44 on the clock, but Willamette took charge with nine unanswered points and held a 41-30 advantage with a minute left in the first half. David Michaels and Faidley lofted home 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds to slice the Bearcat lead to 41-36 at intermission.
Juan Pablo Alvarez and Faidley nailed 3-pointers early in the second half as Whitman vaulted into a 46-43 lead. The combatants traded small leads and worked through six tie scores before Shaw's two free throws ignited an 11-2 run that had Whitman on top 69-60 with eight minutes left.
Willamette kept chipping away at that lead until Scott Scholettgen, who scored 11 points for the Bearcats, hit a jumper with 33 seconds remaining to even the game at 80 and force overtime.
Wheeler made one of two free throws to start the extra session scoring, but Mitchell dunked from the baseline and McClary hit a jumper to put Willamette up by three points with two minutes left. After Wheeler drove the lane for two points and the Bearcats misfired on a three, Faidley rebounded and fed Wheeler for a game-turning trifecta at the other end.
With Whitman up by two points, Shaw negated Willamette's next possession with a steal. Single free throws by Faidley and Shaw, sandwiched around another Bearcat miss from the 3-point line, sealed the win for Whitman.
Michaels, one of three freshmen who started for Whitman, just missed a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. Graham Brewer came close as well, combining eight points and seven rebounds with two blocked shots. Alvarez hit two of Whitman's 12 3-pointers and finished with eight points.
Faidley, a senior guard, increased his career scoring total at Whitman to 1,649 points, moving into second place on the all-time Missionary scoring list. He moved past 1998 graduate Dan Rough, who scored 1,639 points at Whitman.
Whitman takes its final road trip of the regular season next weekend, traveling to Tacoma, Wash., to play Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound.
Willamette hosts Pacific and Lewis & Clark next weekend.
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Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
firstname.lastname@example.org; (509) 527-5902