Bench Helps Pirates Pull Away From Crown

Bench Helps Pirates Pull Away From Crown

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Ben College came off of the bench to drain five three-pointers and score a game-high 19 points, sparking 8th-ranked Whitworth to a 95-62 win over Crown College (Minn.) on Saturday afternoon at the Comfort Inn Classic hosted by Whitman College.

College excelled from beyond the arc in a game in which most of the rest of his team struggled from three-point range.  College went 5-7 from distance, and Christian Jurlina made both of his treys.  But the rest of the team went 0-13 from three-point distance, allowing the Storm (3-8) to hang close with the Pirates (10-1) for much of the first half.

Crown actually led for much of the first half.  The Storm took their final lead of 32-31 on Mika Allison's basket with just under three minutes to play in the opening period.  Whitworth helped Crown's effort by missing its first nine attempts from three-point range.  But College hit the first Pirate three of the game and converted it into a four-point play to spark a 13-0 run that helped give the Bucs a 44-35 lead at halftime.

The Whitworth defense held Crown to ten points over the first 13 minutes of the second half allowing the offense to get going.  College helped the effort by making four straight three-pointers during a three-minute stretch that extended the Pirate lead to 26 points (69-43) nine minutes into the period.  Two other players off of the Whitworth bench made a big impact in the second half.  CJ Johnson scored 11 of his career-high 13 points after halftime and Sam Lees added ten in the second period, allowing Whitworth to rest its starters.

Jurlina scored 16 points, including the first seven Pirate points of the second half to help Whitworth build its lead.  He also led the Bucs with nine rebounds.  Kyle Roach scored a dozen points and Kenny Love dished six assists.  Despite the struggles from three-point range (7-22), Whitworth still shot 50.8% (33-65) from the floor.  The Pirates also finished with a 46-34 advantage in rebounds.

Austin VanDerHeyden led Crown with 15 points and Timothy Wendel finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.  The Storm made 34.5% (20-58) of their shots, including 33.3% (6-18) from three-point range.

Whitworth will return to action next Friday night, hosting Pacific University of Oregon in a Northwest Conference contest.