Whitworth Men Head to Texas for Thanksgiving

Whitworth Men Head to Texas for Thanksgiving

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth University men's basketball team will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in San Antonio, Texas this year at the Leslie Robinson Classic hosted by Trinity University.  The Pirates will play the host Tigers on Friday and then take on Texas-Dallas on Saturday.  Both games will tip at 3:00 pm CST (1:00 pm PST). 

Watch the Whitworth men's basketball schedule for other live links to this week's games.

The Pirates:  Whitworth opened the 2018-19 season with wins over St. Olaf (Minn.) and Whittier (Calif.) last weekend at the Bruin Classic hosted by George Fox in Newberg, Oregon.

The Pirates opened a double-digit lead in the first half against St. Olaf and cruised to a 75-55 victory over the Oles in Whitworth's season-opener.  It was the third game of the season for St. Olaf.  Whitworth's defense was stout in the opening 20 minutes, holding the Oles to 29% shooting from the field and only 20 points.  Meanwhile, Whitworth shot 55.1% in the game, including 43% (6-14) from three-point range after missing their first five shots from behind the arc.  Ben Bishop scored the first six points of the game and led the Bucs with 14 points.  He added six rebounds.  Jared Christy posted a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Ben College added 11 points.  Whitworth outrebounded the Oles 43-26.

The Pirates held off a strong second-half rally from Whittier to defeat the Poets 90-76 on Saturday.  Whitworth took a 47-31 halftime lead on Whittier before the Poets rallied to within 76-70 with four minutes to play.  The Pirates responded with 12 straight points, including three-pointers from College, Kyle Roach and Kevin Crosno, to reopen an 88-70 lead with 50 seconds to go.  College led the way with 29 points, only two points away from his career-high.  Roach added 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.  Christy posted his second double-double in as many games with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Crosno came off of the bench for 11 points.

The Opponents:  Trinity University is coming off a 15-12 season in 2017-18 and the Tigers are off to an 0-3 start this year.  The Tigers played last weekend at a tournament in Virginia, losing to host Christopher Newport 67-51 and falling to Wilmington (Ohio) 65-55.  Senior forward Isaiah Specks is averaging 12.3 points per game to lead his team in scoring.  Whitworth last played Trinity on December 18, 2014 and defeated the Tigers 67-52 on the road.

UT-Dallas is coming off a 19-8 season and second place finish in the American Southwest Conference's East Division in 2017-18.  The Comets are off to a 2-1 start this year, including a 93-56 thrashing of Schreiner (Texas) on Monday night.  Schreiner was an NCAA Tournament participant in 2018.  Junior forward Hans Burwitz is averaging 17.3 points per game and making 72.4% of his shots.  Junior guard Dimitrius Underwood is averaged 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.  Whitworth and Texas-Dallas played in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2014 and UTD defeated the visiting Pirates 78-77 in overtime.

National Ranking:  The Whitworth Pirates are ranked sixth in the D3hoops.com 2018-19 preseason poll.   Whitworth has appeared in 150 D3hoops.com regular season polls and has been ranked in 49 regular season polls in a row, currently the longest streak in Division III.  

NWC Preseason Poll: Whitworth is second in the 2018-19 Northwest Conference coaches poll.  The Pirates received four first place votes and 60 points, trailing only defending champion Whitman (5 first place votes, 61 points).  Whitworth is aiming for a 13th consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Baker's Dozen:  With its win at George Fox last February 9th, Whitworth extended its school record for consecutive seasons with at least 20 victories to 13 in a row in 2017-18.  Prior to this current streak, the most 20-win seasons in a row the Pirates had ever had was two (on three different occasions).  Only Wooster (OH), with 21, has a longer run of consecutive 20-win seasons in NCAA Division III men's basketball. 

More Than A Decade of Dominance:  Since the beginning of the 2005-06 season (13 years) the Pirates are 317-58 (.845), an amazing run of success matched by few other college teams at any level.  Within the Northwest Conference, Whitworth has won 146 of its last 158 (.924).

Home-Sweet-Home:  Whitworth has been stellar in the Whitworth Fieldhouse since the 1990's. During the decade of the 1990s and 2000's Whitworth won more than 84% of its home games.  But since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, the Bucs are 160-16 (.909) at home.

The Pirates have had two home-court winning streaks of more than 40 games since 1990.  A 41-game home court winning streak from early 2009 until December of 2011 was the second-longest in Pirate history. The school record for consecutive home victories is 43, beginning during the 1994-95 season and ending during the 1997-98 season.

Road Warriors: As good as Whitworth is at home, the Pirates have been almost as good away from the Whitworth Fieldhouse during Matt Logie's tenure as head coach.  Since the start of the 11-12 season, Whitworth is 81-16 (.835) away from home, 61-12 (.836) in true road games.

The Main Man:  Kyle Roach, now in his third season as a starter, was the 2017-18 NWC Player of the Year and an NABC Division III first team All-American.  Roach averaged 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season and he hit the game-winning three-pointer in the Pirates' NWC tournament championship victory.  He scored a career-high 45 points on February 6, 2018 vs. #1-ranked Whitman, one game after he had 39 points in the Pirates' win at Lewis & Clark on February 3rd.  He was the NWC Player of the Week twice in 2017-18 – on January 8th and February 5th.  Roach became the 28th player in Whitworth history to surpass 1,000 career points and he has 1,170 points in his career. 

As a sophomore in 2016-17, Roach finished fourth in the NWC in scoring average (15.9 ppg) while making 54.1% of his field goals (5th in the NWC) and 43.3% of his three pointers (6th in the NWC).  Roach also finished second on the team in rebounding (5.2 rpg).  He earned second team All-NWC recognition and was the league's Student-Athlete of the Week twice (Nov. 28, Dec. 26) in 2016-17.

Bull's Eye Ben:  Ben College is off to a great start this season, averaging 20 points per game.  He had another big shooting year in 2017-18.  He made 45% of his shots from three-point range, including a 9-13 effort against Gallaudet on November 17th and a 6-10 night in the NWC tournament final at Whitman.  College was second on the team in scoring average (16.5 ppg).  He scored a career-high 31 points in a win over Gallaudet on November 17, 2017.  College was an honorable mention All-NWC selection in 2018.

College finished second in the Northwest Conference in three-point field goal percentage as a freshman in 2016-17, making 46.5% of his shots from beyond the arc.  He was 40-86 from long distance and his best game came on December 9th against Covenant College when he went 6-8 from three-point range and scored 28 points.

Chairman of the Boards: No player in the Northwest Conference has accumulated more rebounds over the last four seasons than Jared Christy.  He is averaging 13.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game so far this year.

Christy came to Whitworth last season after spending two years Pacific Lutheran and earned his second consecutive second team All-NWC honor.  He averaged 12.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game and led the Northwest Conference in double-doubles (10).  His 17 rebounds in the win over George Fox on January 13, 2017 were the most for any Whitworth player since Nate Montgomery had 18 boards in a win at Puget Sound on Feb. 28, 2009.

Christy earned second team All-NWC recognition as a sophomore in 2016-17 at PLU after leading the league in rebounding by a wide margin (11.2 rpg).  He added 13.8 points per contest.  Christy is from Spokane and played high school basketball at Ferris. 

Stepping Up:  Garrett Hull stepped in as Whitworth's starting point guard on December 29, 2017 after an injury to Jordan Lester.  Hull received 2018 honorable mention All-NWC consideration with an average of 10.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.  He also led Whitworth in steals per game (2.2).  Hull scored a career-high 24 points in Whitworth's win at George Fox on February 9th and he posted back-to-back double-doubles in the NWC tournament.  Hull came to Whitworth after playing two seasons for the Community Colleges of Spokane.

Bishop's Move:  Ben Bishop is in his second season as Whitworth's starting post player.  In 2017-18 he ranked second in the NWC in field goal percentage (62.2).  Bishop averaged 8.5 points per game and scored a career-high 18 points on November 24th against North Central (Ill.) and matched it on February 9th at George Fox.

Got the Point?:  Jordan Lester has returned to his role as the starting point guard in 2018-19.  The redshirt junior transfer from Robert Morris (Pa.) averaged 15.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game before injuring his knee in the ninth game of the season in 2017-17.  At that time he led the league in assists and was third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.31).  He missed a triple-double in Whitworth's win over Gallaudet on November 17 by a single assist.

On the Air Again:  Most of Whitworth's games are once again carried live this season on KSBN 1230am in Spokane.  The relationship between Pirate athletics and KSBN goes back to 1994, a span of 24 years.  Bud Nameck is in his third season as the voice of Whitworth basketball.  The co-host of 920 KXLY radio's Morning News, Nameck has more than 30 years of experience calling college basketball at Gonzaga University and Washington State.

Coming up next:  Whitworth will open its Northwest Conference schedule with home games against Willamette and Pacific (Ore.) on November 30th and December 1st.

The Coach: Matt Logie leads NCAA Division III in winning percentage by active coaches with at least five years of experience.  Logie heads into the 2018-19 season with a record of 173-29 and a winning percentage of .856 over his first seven seasons at Whitworth.  He also accomplished what no other coach had ever done in NCAA Division III history – win 100 games in his first four seasons as a head coach.  He is a three-time NWC Coach of the Year honoree, earning the award in 2012, 2014 and 2015.  He is 113-14 against the NWC, counting games from the conference tournaments.  Logie has guided several players to post-season honors in his seven seasons.  In 2018 Kyle Roach was named to the NABC Division III All-America team and selected as the NWC Player of the Year.  In 2016 Kenny Love and Christian Jurlina each earned First Team All-Northwest Conference recognition for the third time in their careers, joining a small list of players in league history to accomplish that feat.  Love also earned All-Region recognition in 2017 and was the NWC Player of the year and a Third Team All-American in 2015.  George Valle was selected as the NWC Player of the Year and a Third Team All-American (NABC) in 2016.  Logie has been a finalist for the Glen Robinson Division III men's basketball Coach of the Year award twice in his career (2016 and 2013).

Logie previously worked eight seasons as an assistant coach at Lehigh University (Pa.), his alma-mater. He also spent a season as an assistant coach at Kent State. In 2010 Logie was named as the top Patriot League Assistant Coach in men's basketball in a Foxsports.com Coaches Poll and in 2011 he was recognized as one of the top 50 assistants in Mid-to-Low Major college basketball by Hoopscoop on-line magazine. Logie is originally from Mercer Island, Washington where he won a pair of state basketball championships while playing for his grandfather, Ed Pepple, a legend in Washington's high school ranks who won 952 games and four state titles in 49 years of coaching.