SPOKANE, Wash. – Ben College came off of the bench for a career-high 28 points to lead 7th-ranked Whitworth to a commanding 93-62 win over visiting Covenant College in a non-conference men's basketball game on Friday night.
College, a freshman, blew past the previous high of five points he set in the season opening game. College finished 8-10 from the field, including 6-8 from three-point range. He was 6-6 at the free throw line and also came up with three assists and two steals.
"Ben is a guy who really shoots the ball and we've been waiting for a breakthrough like this," said head coach Matt Logie. "Once he gets going it's really hard to turn him off and we're excited about what he's capable of."
Whitworth (5-1) had trouble pulling away from the Scots in the early going. A Connor Sears three-pointer pulled Covenant (4-3) into a 15-15 tie nine minutes into the game. But the Pirates responded with an 8-1 run and never trailed again. After the Scots pulled within 23-21 with seven minutes to go in the opening half, Whitworth closed the half on a 23-8 run to open a 46-29 lead at the break. Christian Jurlina had 14 points by halftime.
The Pirates blistered the nets by making 16 of 25 shots (64%) in the opening period and 11-13 (85%) from the free throw line. Covenant hit only 35.5% (11-31), including 15% (2-13) from three-point range. Whitworth held a 20-10 advantage in rebounds.
Whitworth quickly extended the lead to 21 points in the early going of the second half when Kyle Roach stole the ball and scored to increase the margin to 54-33. A pair of College free throws stretched the margin to 63-38. The final lead was the Bucs' largest of the game.
Jurlina finished with 20 points and led Whitworth with nine rebounds. Roach scored all 13 of his points in the second half, while Drew Sears added 13 points to give the Pirates four players in double figures. Kenny Love dished nine assists, seven in the second half.
Whitworth finished the game with a 60% shooting percentage from the field, 56% (9-16) from three-point range. The only thing that didn't go well for the Pirates was turnovers. Whitworth ended with 20, nearly double their per-game average this season.
Connor Sears led Covenant with 12 points, while Berto Dryden and Z Arima each scored 10. The Scots finished the game 39% (25-64) from the floor, 17% (4-24) from three-point range.
Whitworth will take a break for final exams and then return to action on December 18th at La Verne (Calif.).