Lead Slips Away, Men Fall 84-76 at PLU

News Release Date:
Friday, January 15

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Unable to sustain the momentum that produced a seven-point lead early in the second half, the Whitman College men dropped an 84-76 Northwest Conference decision to Pacific Lutheran Friday night in Tacoma, Wash.

The Lutes, led by the 26 points of junior wing Kyle MacTaggert, improved to 4-1 in the NWC and 6-6 on the season.

Sophomore guard Brandon Shaw had 17 points, five assists and five rebounds to pace Whitman, which saw its record slip to 3-2 in conference and 9-5 overall. 

Brandon Shaw

Whitman also got nine points apiece from junior Daniel Davidson and freshman Drew Raher, and eight eight points each from sophomore David Michaels and freshman Brady Brent

Junior Justin Artis and senior Jordan Wheeler added to the balanced Missionary scoring with seven points apiece.

Down 42-38 at intermission, the Missionaries opened the second half on a 13-2 roll to grab a 51-44 lead with 15 minutes left to play. Raher and Brent nailed 3-pointers to key the surge.

The Lutes quickly turned the tables with a 13-2 run of their own to regain a four-point edge, 57-53, with just under 12 minutes remaining. After Raher struck again from the 3-point stripe, Pacific Lutheran scored eight unanswered points to lead by nine.

Baskets by Michaels and Shaw, wrapped around two free throws by junior Max Adcox, sliced Whitman's deficit to 65-62 at the seven-minute mark. MacTaggart answered with 3-pointer as the Lutes stretched their lead to 10 points with five minutes left.

Artis and Shaw knocked down four straight free throws for the Missionaries, but Pacific Lutheran responded with five consecutive points and allowed Whitman no closer than five points the rest of the way.

After the Lutes jumped in front 8-3 to start the game, Brent buried a 3-pointer and Davidson was good on a jumper to give Whitman its first lead of the night, 15-14, after nine minutes of play. Shaw's steal and layup made it 17-14.

Daniel Davidson

Following deadlocks at 19 and 21, Artis connected from the 3-point line for a 24-21 Missionary lead. Two free throws by Davidson, Shaw's jumper and Wheeler's three-ball had Whitman on top 33-29 with just over four minutes left in the half.

The Lutes then seized command with a 13-1 run, although Whitman tallied the final four points to stay close at the break.

Pacific Lutheran shot 53.1 percent from the floor for the game, getting assists on 27 of its 34 baskets. The Lutes also won the rebounding battle 42-35.

Neither side shot well from the free throw line. Whitman was 22 of 36 while Pacific Lutheran was 10 of 22.

Raher, who collected his nine points by making all three of 3-point attempts, also snared five rebounds for Whitman. 

Michaels, who made three of five shots in scoring eight points, continues to lead the NWC in season-long field goal percentage. He is shooting 62.3 percent from the floor, having made 43 of 69 shot attempts.

The Missionaries stay in Tacoma to play at Puget Sound at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Box Score

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