The Whitworth Pirates are officially halfway to a preseason goal.
The No. 4-ranked team in the country used a barrage of first-half 3-pointers and led by as many as 35 points in an 80-50 Northwest Conference men’s basketball victory over Linfield Saturday at the Fieldhouse.
The win, the 16th straight by the Bucs, keeps Whitworth (16-1 overall) perfect midway through conference play at 8-0.
“At the start of the season we felt strongly that this team could win the Northwest Conference regular-season championship,” second-year coach Matt Logie said. “That’s an important goal because it sets you up for the tournament.”
The Bucs opened with a flourish against the Wildcats, drilling five 3-pointers in the first 6 minutes to take a 19-5 lead that grew steadily wider as the team shot better than 63 percent from the field in taking a 48-19 lead at the half.
But it wasn’t just outside shooting that flattened Linfield in the first half. The Wildcats were held to just two points in the paint in the first period while the Pirates pounded out 20. For the game Whitworth doubled up Linfield in the paint, 36-18.
More telling was the 39-12 advantage Whitworth enjoyed in points off the bench.
Colton McCarger came off the bench for 13 points, sharing team high honors with Taylor Farnsworth, who led the inside assault and was the only starter to score in double figures. Guard Robby Douglas added 12 points off the bench.
“The thing we’ve tried to work on this week was playing up to our potential,” Logie said. “I think we’ve had a few lapses, but overall I’m pleased.”
Whitworth held Linfield 18 points under their average points per game with a swarming defense than throttled the Wildcats’ half-court game.
Whitworth opens the second half of conference play Friday and Saturday in Tacoma against Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran, respectively.
CC Spokane 84, Blue Mountain 66: Brady Bagby overcame foul trouble to score 23 points and Kwinn Hanson added 17 points and 12 boards as the Sasquatch (12-6, 3-2) topped the Timberwolves (8-9, 2-3) in an NWAACC game at Spokane Falls CC. Bagby shot 8 of 11 from the floor, including 3 of 3 from beyond the arc and he made all four of his free throws. Dylan Martin scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Blue Mountain.
North Idaho 104, Colorado Northwestern 46: Keon Lewis scored 19 points and Mikey Hope added 17 as the Cardinals (19-3, 6-1) dumped the Spartans (7-15, 0-7) in a Scenic West Athletic Conference game in Coeur d’Alene.