WALLA WALLA – The Whitman Blues lived up to their No. 1 ranking Tuesday, placing six players in double figures during a 91-75 win over the Whitworth Pirates.
Joey Hewitt scored 20 points, and Austin Butler and Tim Howell added 14 apiece as the Blues improved to 14-0 overall and 5-0 in the Northwest Conference.
Kyle Roach shot 7 of 8 from the free-throw line and scored a game-high 21 points for the third-ranked Pirates (12-2, 4-1), who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Ben College added 16 points, and Jared Christy had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Blues outscored Whitworth 23-10 during the final 6:51, including a 7-0 run to take control.
Butler and Trevor Osborne had back-to-back layups during the key run, which was capped by Hewitt’s offensive rebound and jumper for a 77-66 lead with 4:28 left.
Butler added a steal and dunk with 3:29 left for a 79-68 advantage.
Howell’s three consecutive baskets gave the Blues an 87-72 edge with 51 seconds remaining.
Whitworth led 17-12 after Sam Lees’ 3-pointer with 11:52 left in the first half. Roach’s three-point play put the Pirates ahead 27-18 with 7:09 left in the half.
Isaiah Hernandez’s layup at the halftime buzzer gave Whitworth a 38-32 edge.
The Pirates led 46-39 after Roach’s layup 2 1/2 minutes into the second half. The Whitworth lead was four points midway through the half when the Blues took charge. Jack Stewart’s 3-pointer put Whitman ahead for good, 64-61 with 8:54 left.
Whitworth struggled from long range, hitting 2 of 13 on 3-pointers, but finished 23 for 31 at the line.
The Pirates outrebounded the Blues 46-37.
Butler added seven assists and eight of the Blues’ 18 steals. Whitman finished with 16 assists to the Pirates’ four.