In a game where they never trailed, the Whitworth Pirates solidified their position at the top of the Northwest Conference standings with a solid 81-65 win over visiting Lewis & Clark.
The Pirates (13-4, 7-1 NWC) came out hot as senior guard Colton McCargar hit his first jumper and the Pioneers (12-5, 5-3) never were able to take a lead despite several runs.
“I thought our first half was very solid on both sides of the floor,” Whitworth coach Matt Logie said. “Our defense allowed us to get out on transition and because of that we got some baskets on the other end.”
Senior guard Dustin McConnell led all scorers with 16 points, 14 in the second half as the Pirates pulled away despite the hot shooting of the Pioneers’ Kurt Parker, who scored 15.
Whitworth finished with five players in double-figure scoring, with McCargar getting 14.
Sophomore forward George Valle and freshman forward Christian Jurlina both had 12 and 6-foot-8 forward Taylor Farnsworth scored 11.
Jurlina, a 6-5 wing from Sydney, Australia, came off the bench and led all scorers with 10 at halftime.
“C.J. is a very talented player,” Logie said. “He gives us a great spark off the bench offensively. And he’s got good length and quickness. He can guard multiple positions.”
Pioneers guard Parker hit a 3-pointer to bring Lewis & Clark within three points at 22-19, but the Pirates went on a 21-6 run to end the first half.
Parker converted a 3-point play early in the second half to get his team within 54-47, but the Pioneers would get no closer.
“We are getting contributions from a lot of different players,” Logie said while praising the defense of guard Robby Douglas. “Everybody is kind of finding their roles, which is what we want this time of year.”
Columbia Basin 82, CC Spokane 68: Steven Walter made 9 of 13 shots and finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Hawks (12-6, 5-1) surged in the second half and beat the Sasquatch (13-7, 3-3) in a Northwest Athletic Conference of Community Colleges game in Pasco.
Columbia Basin made 10 of 10 free throws in the second half to help fend off any attempt at a rally by the Sasquatch.
The Hawks shot 53.1 percent (17 of 32) from the floor in the second half and outscored CCS 46-30.
Andrew Reddout added 19 points and nine rebounds and Justin Smith chipped in 18 points for Columbia Basin.
Community Colleges of Spokane’s Kwinn Hanson scored 21 points and teammate Chase Haack added 12 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and four assists.
The loss was the Sasquatch’s second in a row. They host Big Bend Wednesday night at 8 at Spokane Falls Community College. It will be the first of two games against the Vikings this season.