Wildcats Outlast Whitman Men 85-81

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 23

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Shooting 61 percent from the floor and making 28 of 31 free throws, Linfield College got past Whitman College 85-81 in men's Northwest Conference basketball action Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

K.C. Wiser scored 35 points and Cody Tesoro had 23 to pace Linfield, which improved to 7-1 in the NWC and 9-7 overall

Brandon Shaw
Peter Clark

Sophomore Brandon Shaw and freshman Peter Clark tallied 21 and 18 points, respectively, for Whitman, which dropped to 3-5 and 9-8.

Down 44-36 at intermission, Whitman opened the second half on a three-minute 14-2 frenzy to lead 50-46.

Clark and junior Daniel Davidson connected from the 3-point line to trigger the outburst, and Shaw kept it going with a three-point play on a drive to the hoop.

Davidson hit the offensive glass on the next Missionary possession, knocking down the putback as well as the free throw that followed. Shaw's steal and layup capped Whitman's opening salvo.

Linfield pulled even at 54-54 on two free throws, and from there, the two teams worked through five more tie scores, the last one coming at 68-all with just under six minutes remaining.

Linfield then took command with an 11-4 spurt over the next three minutes, scoring seven of its points at the free throw line.

Senior Jordan Wheeler hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left, capping a 7-2 Missionary rally that sliced the Wildcat lead to 81-79. Linfield made four free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win.

Davidson also scored in double figures for Whitman, combining 14 points with five rebounds. Kris Rainwater had 13 points and five boards for Linfield.

Daniel Davidson

With Clark making six of 10 from long range, Whitman finished the night with a dozen 3-pointers, 11 more than the Wildcats. Shaw had just one of those Missionary treys, but he was good on nine of 13 shots from the floor.

Junior Justin Artis added eight points and five rebounds for Whitman. Wheeler chipped in seven points to go with three blocked shots.

Whitman, which leads the NWC in steals and forced turnovers, continued to wreak is defensive havoc, picking off nine steals while helping elicit 25 Wildcat turnovers. Clark had three steals and Artis two.

Jordan Wheeler

Whitman had no answer inside for the 6-foot-8 Wiser, who was good on 15 of his 22 field goal attempts. He also collared a game-high nine rebounds along with three steals and three blocked shots.

After a back-and-forth start to the game, Whitman took its last lead of the first half at 18-16 on two Davidson free throws with 12 minutes left.

The Wildcats grabbed the upper hand with a 17-8 run over the next six minutes and then took their largest lead of the half at 38-28 on a Joseph Vance layup with 3:31 remaining.

While Linfield was shooting over 50 percent from the floor in the first half, and converting 13 of 14 free throws, Whitman kept pace with seven 3-pointers, five by Clark.

Whitman stays at home next weekend to host Lewis & Clark on Friday and Willamette on Saturday. Both games start at 8 p.m. in Sherwood Center.

Linfield is in Tacoma, Wash., next weekend to play at Pacific Lutheran on Friday and Puget Sound on Saturday. Those games also start at 8 p.m.

Box Score

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