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Whitworth Wakes Up, Wins Title

Midway through the first half of Saturday night’s Whitworth Invitational men’s championship game, the Pirates had scored 16 points, and Carroll College guard Kevin Van Nice had scored 15.

But when Van Nice cooled off, Whitworth warmed up, put together a 13-point run and held off the Fighting Saints 89-74 for its 24th straight win in the Pirates fieldhouse.

The Pirates (7-1) won their tournament title with impressive balance - four players scored in double figures and two others had nine points each. They also won it on the boards, where Whitworth hammered the perimeteroriented Saints 39-22.

Concordia defeated Northwest College 88-72 for third place.

Whitworth held Carroll (9-5) 10 points below its average, and limited Kevin Kofstad, averaging 14 points and nine rebounds, to eight and three respectively. Koftstad didn’t score in the game’s first 32 minutes.

For the first 5 minutes, it didn’t look as if the Pirates would roll merrily into their holiday break. Although they scored the game’s first basket, they soon trailed 10-2.

“Geez, we just didn’t take care of the ball,” Whitworth coach Warren Friedrichs said. “What’d we do, turn it over four times out of our first six trips?”

That’s exactly what the Pirates did, and with Van Nice hooping it up from the outside - during one stretch, he scored 15 of 17 Carroll points - the Saints led 23-16 with 10 minutes left in the half.

Whitworth still trailed 26-19 when Gabe Jones ignited the Bucs’ blastoff with a short jumper. Ben Heimermann followed that with a steal and full-court solo and Nate Williams tied it at 26, driving the lane and adding a free throw to his layin.

After Jones hit a baseline jumper and Sean Weston added the next four Pirates points, Whitworth led 32-26. Carroll pulled back into a tie at 32, but the Bucs outscored the Saints 9-3 in the last 2 minutes for a 41-35 halftime lead.

That’s about where the margin stayed until Whitworth broke the game open in its last 5 minutes a 10-point streak that pushed an eight-point lead to 18.

Van Nice scored only three points in the second half to finish with 20, and the Saints hit only 3 of 12 3-point shots after the break.

“We really wanted to take away their 3s in the second half,” said Friedrichs. “We started going under their high picks, and we also were able to get some quick-hands steals.”

The Pirates, meanwhile, shot 58 percent and hit half their 3-pointers. Post Jeff Mix ran the floor like a guard and scored 17 points, hitting 8 of 11 shots from the field.

Whitworth is idle until New Year’s Eve, when the Pirates entertain Western Montana.

Whitworth 89, Carroll 74

Carroll - Asher 4-14 2-2 11, Van Nice 8-12 0-0 20, Meredith 1-2 0-0 3, Allen 3-7 0-0 7, Almquist 3-7 4-5 11, Kofstad 3-4 2-3 8, Darragh 2-5 0-0 4, Lynch 0-2 4-6 4, Dailey 3-5 0-0 8. Totals 27-58 12-16 89.

Whitworth - Weston 3-6 2-4 9, Mix 8-11 1-1 17, Williams 3-7 6-7 14, Schulz 4-5 0-0 9, Gabe Jones 7-13 0-1 15, Nakanishi 0-1 0-0 0, Vargas 0-1 0-0 0, Heimerman 7-9 0-0 14, Sullivan 0-0 0-0 0, McDaniel 0-2 2-2 2, Jordan 1-2 1-2 4, Greg Jones 1-2 2-2 5. Totals 34-59 14-19 89.

Halftime - Whitworth 41, Carroll 35. 3-Point goals - Carroll 8-23 (Asher 1-7, Van Nice 4-7, Meredith 1-2, Allen 1-4, Almquist 1-2, Darragh 0-1), Whitworth 7-14 (Weston 1-2, Williams 2-4, Schulz 1-1, Gabe Jones 1-3 Vargas 0-1, Jordan 1-1, Greg Jones 1-1). Fouled out - Van Nice. Rebounds - Carroll 22 (Darragh, Dalley 4), Whitworth 39 (Heimerman 14). Assists - Carroll 16 (Asher 5), Whitworth 23 (Weston 7). Total fouls - Carroll 17, Whitworth 11. Technicals - Asher, Heimerman.

Concordia 88, Northwest 72

Concordia (2-7) - Swallom 9-17 5-6 24, Dickenson 3-11 0-0 7, Brown 6-13 3-3 16, Schweiss 4-7 5-6 15, Kitzman 5-6 0-0 10, Hampton 0-2 1-2 1, Boxell 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Dornbecker 0-1 0-0 0, Gardner 5-10 5-7 15, Ellis 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 32-70 19-24 88.

Northwest (9-7) - R.D’Agostino 1-4 6-6 8, Wille 8-14 5-6 22, A.D’Agostino 7-12 3-6 20, Gallatin 5-8 3-4 11, Nugent 2-7 0-0 5, Perez 0-1 0-0 0, Burdick 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Endresen 3-3 0-0 6. Totals 25-50 17-22 72.

Halftime-Northwest 42, Concordia 37. 3-Point goals

Concordia 5-21 (Schweiss 2-4, Brown 1-3, Swallom 1-7, Dickenson 1-7), Northwest 5-15 (A.D’Agostino 3-7, Wille 1-1, Nugent 1-3, Gallatin 0-1, Perez 0-1, R.D’Agostino 0-2). Fouled out-Nugent, Burdick. Rebounds-Concordia 39 (Gardner 13), Northwest 29 (R.D’Agostino, Gallatin 6). Assists-Concordia 14 (Brown 5), Northwest 16 (Wille, Gallatin 4). Total fouls-Concordia 19, Northwest 20. Technicals-None.

, DataTimes


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