January 8, 1997 in Sports

No. 11 Pirates Crush Western Montana

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Warren Friedrichs, the Whitworth College men’s basketball coach who has a penchant to grab the game’s stat sheet moments after it spits out of the courtside printer, didn’t need to look up this set of numbers.

“We’re 9-1,” said Friedrichs, referring to the Pirates’ record shortly after Tuesday night’s 74-60 non-conference home win over Western Montana. “And we’ll take it.”

And they took it with relative ease, never trailing and leading by as many as 21 points against the NAIA Division I Bulldogs, who dropped to 1-14. Earlier in the day, Whitworth learned it had moved up from No. 23 to 11 in the NAIA Division II Top 25 poll.

The Pirates’ win also came with their best outside shooter, senior guard Nate Williams, watching from the bench in street clothes. Williams, leading the team with his 53.3 percent 3-point shooting, has been bothered by a bad knee most of the season. An MRI Monday revealed that he has a bone bruise. He remains questionable for this weekend’s home conference games against Linfield (Friday) and Willamette (Saturday).

The lack of the outside threat was a factor in the first half when Whitworth converted 3 of 14 3-point attempts and shot 37.5 percent overall. It finished 6 of 22 from 3-point range and 44.4 overall.

The Bulldogs were even colder and converted 10 of 35 shots in the first half (28.6 percent).

But the Pirates found the range in the second half, particularly junior guard Sean Weston, who scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half.

“I didn’t even know we were up by 21,” said Weston, who went coast-to-coast late in the game for two baskets. “We finally converted on our fastbreak.”

Junior forward Ben Heimerman led the team with 17 points and 12 rebounds. He, along with Whitworth’s other big men, Jeff Mix (14 points) and reserve Doug Schulz (14) contained 6-foot-9 Casey O’Keefe and 6-7 Ryan Rebsom, forcing the two to put up bad shots throughout the game. The shorter Pirates outrebounded the Bulldogs 40-36.

“There was a lot of pushing,” said O’Keefe, who was held to six points and three rebounds. “And we weren’t communicating. We let it slip out of our hands.”

After Whitworth built a 24-14 lead midway through the first half, Western Montana went on a late 14-4 run and found itself down 31-28 at the half.

In the second half, Whitworth outscored Western 21-10 in the first 10 minutes and led by 21 with 3:37 left to play.

Whitworth 74, W. Montana 60

Westerm Montana (1-14) - Hegsted 1 1-2 4, Gustafson 3 0-0 7, Robinson 1 0-0 2, Flynn 0 0-0 0, Schenk 5 0-0 13, Schroeder 3 0-0 8, Ketcham 0 3-4 3, Kuntz 4 1-2 10, Rebsom 3 1-2 7, O;Keefe 3 0-0 6. Totals 23 6-10 60.

Whitworth (9-1) - Weston 6 1-2 16, Mix 6 2-2 14, Schulz 5 1-2 12, Ga.Jones 2 0-0 5, Nakanishi 0 2-2 2, Vargas 0 0-0 0, Heimerman 6 5-6 17, Sullivan 0 0-0 0, McDaniel 0 0-0 0, Jordan 3 0-0 7, Gr.Jones 0 1-2 1. Totals 28 12-16 74.

Halftime-Whitworth 31, Western Montana 28. 3-point goals-Western Montana 8-20 (Hegsted 1-4, Gustafson 1-5, Schenk 3-3, Schroeder 2-5, Ketcham 0-1, Kuntz 1-2. Whitworth 6-22 (Weston 3-7, Schulz 1-1, GaJones 1-7, Jeimerman 0-1, Vargas 0-1, Jordan 1-4, Gr.Jones 0-1. Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Western Montana 36 (Kuntz 7); Whitworth 40 (Heimerman 12). Assists-W. Montana 8; Whitworth 19 (Weston 5, Mix 5). Totals fouls-W. Montana 16. Whitworth 10. Technical fouls-none. A-NA.

, DataTimes


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email