ORANGE, Calif. – Kyle Roach scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead visiting Whitworth to a 78-69 win at Chapman University on Monday night in a non-conference men's basketball game.
The 8th-ranked Pirates swept the two-game trip to Southern California and improved to 7-1. The defending SCIAC champion Panthers fell to 4-5.
The decisive stretch of Monday's contest came during the final eight minutes of the first half after Chapman had taken a 23-15 lead on a three-pointer by Tyler Green that capped a 16-2 run for the Panthers. But Whitworth outscored Chapman 23-6 over the last eight minutes of the period to grab a 38-29 lead at the break. Roach scored 16 of his points in the opening 20 minutes and Ben College drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Pirates a nine-point lead.
"I think we regrouped during that under-eight media timeout and collectively addressed some things we needed to do better from a toughness standpoint," said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie. "That allowed us to get stops on defense and get going on offense."
Whitworth quickly stretched the lead to double digits in the second half and took a 46-31 lead on Ben Bishop's free throw four minutes into the period. The Pirates' largest lead of the game was 62-46 on a Roach three-pointer with 7:45 to play. But Chapman turned up its defense and outscored the Bucs 18-7 over the next six minutes to trim the margin to 69-64. Bishop answered with a three-point play, then hit two free throws to stem the tide.
Roach hit 9-14 from the field, including a pair of three pointers. Bishop reached his career-high with 12 points off of the bench. Christian Jurlina added 14 points for the Bucs, who finished the game 48.3% from the floor, but only 26.3% (5-19) from three-point range.
James Taylor led Chapman with 21 points, while Green scored 15. Rob Nelson had 11 boards as the Panthers finished with a 38-33 edge in rebounds.
Logie was pleased to get the two victories in California.
"It's huge to face a couple of strong programs from another conference in our region and be able to come away with a pair of wins," he said. "I'm proud our guys stayed together and fought hard."
The Pirates are not quite done with their trip. They will stop over in Oregon for a game against Alma College (Mich.) on Wednesday afternoon at Willamette University in Salem.