NEWBERG, Ore. – Kyle Roach scored 27 points to lead visiting Whitworth to an 88-85 win over George Fox on Friday night, knocking the Bruins out of a share of first place in the Northwest Conference men's basketball standings.
The 7th-ranked Pirates improved to 12-2 overall and 4-1 in the NWC, bouncing back from their first loss of the season. George Fox fell to 10-4, 4-1 despite cutting a 15-point halftime deficit to two points on two occasions in the second period.
The Bruins led the game's first four minutes, taking an 8-4 lead on a three-pointer by Mason Green-Richards and a 12-9 lead on a Green-Richards layup. Whitworth answered with an 11-0 run, including a three-point play by Jared Christy to go up 20-12. The Pirates never trailed again, taking a 60-45 lead at halftime. Whitworth made 62% of its shots on the first half.
George Fox opened the second half on a 12-2 run, getting within 62-57 on Ryan Lacey's layup with 16:27 to go. The Bruins were able to close within 71-69 with 9:43 to go on another Lacey basket and again within 81-79 with 3:40 left. However, Ben College hit a step-back three-pointer with 2:06 to play, giving the Pirates an 86-79 lead and some breathing room.
Roach made 9-13 of his shots from the field, including 4-7 from three-point range. He was 5-6 at the free throw line and grabbed seven boards. Jordan Lester added 13 points while Isaiah Hernandez chipped in a dozen off the bench. Christy led the Bucs with 10 rebounds and three assists.
The Pirates, who rank third in NCAA DIII in team field goal percentage, made 58% of their shots in the game (33-57), including 47% (9-19) from three-point range. Whitworth also finished with a 35-29 edge in rebounding, but committed 21 turnovers (13 in the second half).
Green-Richards led George Fox with 24 points and Wesley Reynolds added 19. Lacey and Jackson Januik had 14 points each. The Bruins finished 30-61 (49%) from the field, 8-23 (35%) from beyond the arc.
Whitworth will take on Linfield (11-3, 4-1 NWC) on Saturday at 6:00 pm to complete the NWC weekend in Oregon.