Whitworth University’s men’s basketball team is still in the process of figuring out how to deal with the abundance of offensive weapons at its disposal.
But Jim Hayford seems willing to give his Pirates (3-2) some time to sort things out – as long as they keep showing the kind of improvement they did in Friday night’s home-opening 80-53 win over the University of California Santa Cruz (2-7) at Whitworth Fieldhouse.
“What I’m really pleased about is that we’ve looked better each weekend,” the Pirates’ ninth-year head coach said after watching Davie Riley rediscover his shooting stroke and throw in a team-high 17 points as one of four Bucs to finish in double figures. “We will be a really good basketball team in January and February, but we still haven’t come together, yet.”
That might come as a bit of a surprise to UCSC, which lost to Whitworth 81-75 in the UPS Tip Off in Tacoma earlier this year, because the Banana Slugs certainly had no answer for the Pirates’ scoring balance on this night.
Along with Riley’s big effort, the Bucs got 15 points from Bo Gregg, 11 from Jack Loofburrow and 10 from Felix Friedt, who was making his first start of the year at center.