Whitworth Men Stop L&C 66-61

Photo courtesy Ryan Goff, L&C Athletics
Photo courtesy Ryan Goff, L&C Athletics

PORTLAND, Ore. – Sixth-ranked Whitworth held Lewis & Clark to less than 35% shooting and only 61 points in a 66-61 victory in a Northwest Conference men's basketball contest on Friday night at the Pamplin Center.

The visiting Pirates improved to 14-2 overall and 5-2 in the NWC to take over sole possession of second place in the conference standings.  The Pioneers fell to 7-9, 4-3.

Three Whitworth players scored in double figures in the defensive-minded contest.  Christian Jurlina had 13, Kenny Love scored 12 and Drew Sears came off of the bench for ten points.  Whitworth shot 53% from the floor (27-51) to offset a 39-32 disadvantage in rebounds.  L&C finished with a 15-2 edge in offensive boards.

Love led the Pirates with nine rebounds while Kyle Roach dished five assists as Whitworth earned its seventh win in a row over L&C.

The teams traded leads throughout a quick-paced first half.  When Markel Leonard drained a three-pointer just before the shot clock expired 12 minutes into the game, he had given the Pioneers a 26-21 lead.  It was L&C's largest lead of the contest.  Whitworth answered with an 8-0 run, including back-to-back three-pointers by Love.  CJ Johnson's basket just before halftime gave the Bucs a 33-30 lead at the break.

Alex Jones hit a three-pointer for L&C five minutes into the second half to give the Pioneers a 40-39 lead.  But it would be their last lead of the game as Whitworth scored six straight points, including a pair of buckets by Roach, to go ahead 45-40.  Love's basket gave the Pirates their first ten-point lead at 59-49 with just over four minutes to play.  Love and Derek Isaak each made a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds to clinch the win.

Leonard led L&C with 18 points while Andrew Vickers added 16 points.  No other Pioneer player reached double figures, though Jonathan Boddie had nine points and 12 rebounds.

The points allowed was a season-low for the Pirate defense.  The previous season low was 62 points, set against both Covenant College (December 9th) and Crown College (Dec. 31st).

Whitworth will close out its weekend with a game at George Fox University on Friday night.