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Riley scores 34 as Whitworth Pirates win 13th straight

Whitworth’s Jack Loofburrow thwarts a dunk attempt by Whitman’s David Michaels on Tuesday. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Whitworth’s Jack Loofburrow thwarts a dunk attempt by Whitman’s David Michaels on Tuesday. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Whitman College, as expected, pushed the tempo of Tuesday night’s Northwest Conference matchup against Whitworth University to breakneck speed from the opening tip – and, almost as quickly, had its collective will broken by the Pirates.

Whitworth, rather than flinch in the face of the Missionaries’ trademark full-court defensive pressure, attacked unmercifully and sprinted to an early 22-3 lead en route to a 110-83 win that supercharged a Whitworth Fieldhouse crowd of 925 and pushed the 18th-ranked Pirates’ winning streak to a school record-tying 13 games.

David Riley threw in a game-high 34 points – just three short of his career high – for the Bucs (14-2, 7-0 NWC), who rolled up a 65-35 halftime lead by shooting a remarkable 71.9 percent (23 of 32) and never let an overmatched and bewildered Whitman team (9-7, 3-4) up for air.

“It’s controlled chaos out there against them,” Whitworth coach Jim Hayford said of the Missionaries, after watching his Pirates move into sole possession of first place in the NWC standings, a half-game ahead of Linfield (8-6, 6-0), which visits Whitworth Field house for a crucial 8 p.m. game on Friday.

“You need to keep your head, stay in the right spacing and make the right decisions and you can make (the press) look silly. And, fortunately, we did that tonight.”

Riley, a 6-foot-5 junior shooting guard, dropped 22 points on the Missionaries prior to intermission and added 12 in the second half, to surpass the 1,000-point career mark.

He finished 13 for 16 from the field and knocked down 5 of 8 3-point attempts while putting on an offensive clinic.

“He scores points in bunches, that’s what scorers do,” Hayford said of Riley, who took a seat on the Pirates bench with more than six minutes left in the game and never returned. “He’s fun to watch when he gets it going.”

Senior center Nate Montgomery added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Whitworth and also earned praise from Hayford, who said, “When you have someone like him who can finish your press break, you’re going to look good.”

Another key to the Pirates’ quick start was the play of senior point guard Eric Beal, who scored only four points, but handed out eight assists and kept the Bucs poised in the face of Whitman’s relentless defensive pressure.

Hayford emptied his bench early in this one, but the Pirates still managed to shoot 69 percent (40 of 58) from the floor, including 52.6 percent (10 of 19) from 3-point range.

Whitman, which did manage to hurry Whitworth into 23 turnovers, suffered through two early scoring droughts – one of which lasted just over 41/2 minutes and never recovered. The Missionaries, who got a team-high 14 points from Brandon Shaw, made only one of its first six shots and turned the ball over five times in the first six minutes.

Whitworth 110, Whitman 83

 Whitman (9-7, 3-4)- Michaels 2-7 7-8 12, Clark 4-12 0-0 11, Shaw 3-7 8-13 14, Artis 3-7 3-4 10, Thompson 4-9 2-3 12, Stone 0-0 0-0 0, Wheeler 0-2 0-0 0, Davidson 3-8 2-2 9, Alvarez 1-5 0-1 2, Brent 3-8 1-4 9, Brandon 0-0 0-0 0, Raher 1-4 2-2 4. Totals 24-69 25-37 83.

Whitworth (14-2, 7-0)- Riley 13-16 3-4 34, Friedt 2-3 1-3 5, Montgomery 8-8 2-4 18, Beal 2-4 4-4 8, C.Gebbers 4-6 0-2 9, Iddins 0-0 1-2 1, Gregg 5-9 1-2 14, W.Gebbers 1-2 2-2 4, Ramey 1-1 0-0 3, Taylor 1-2 3-4 5, Odland 1-3 0-0 2, Larkin 0-0 0-0 0, Loofburrow 2-4 3-7 7. Totals 40-58 20-34 110.

Halftime—Whitworth 65 Whitman 35. 3-Point Goals—Whitman 10-31 (Michaels 1-1, Clark 3-10, Artis 1-3, Thompson 2-4, Wheeler 0-1, Davidson 1-1, Alvarez 0-2, Brent 2-7, Raher 0-2), Whitworth 10-19 (Riley 5-8, Beal 0-2, C.Gebbers 1-1, Gregg 3-5, W.Gebbers 0-1, Ramey 1-1, Loofburrow 0-1). Fouled Out—Michaels, W.Gebbers. Rebounds—Whitman 33 (Clark, Wheeler, Davidson 4), Whitworth 44 (Montgomery 11). Assists—Whitman 11 (Thompson 3), Whitworth 22 (Beal 8). Total Fouls—Whitman 27, Whitworth 29. A—925.

Whits women end skid

Cassie Pilkinton scored a game-high 21 points and added six assists and Katie Delaney hit a pair of free throws with 11.9 seconds remaining to help the Whitworth Pirates (7-9, 3-4) end a three-game losing streak with a 75-72 victory over the visiting Whitman Missionaries (6-10, 1-6) in Northwest Conference play.

Leah Pomante gave the Pirates a 73-72 lead on a lay-up with 35 seconds left. Pomante finished with 13 points, while Natalie Orrell scored 11.

Hilary White finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Missionaries.

Whitworth 75, Whitman 72

 Whitman (6-10, 1-6)- Peterson 2-5 6-7 10, Krall 3-7 2-2 9, Sexton 5-8 2-2 12, Mello 3-11 0-0 8, White 6-14, 0-0 14, Gilbert 0 0-0 0, Madden 1-2 0-0 2, Brice 3-5 0-0 6, Keyes 4-6 0-0 11. Totals 27-58 10-11 72.

Whitworth (7-9, 3-4)- Orrell 5-7 1-2 11, Pilkinton 7-15 4-6 21, Horiatis 2-9 2-2 6, Pomante 5-11 1-5 13, Bluff 1-3 0-0 3, Picha 0-1 0-0 0, Travis 1-2 0-0 2, Delaney 1-3 4-4 7, Burke 2-2 0-0 6, Fanene 2-8 1-2 6. Totals 26-61 13-21 75.

Halftime—Whitman 38, Whitworth 37. 3-Point Goals—Whitman 8-22 (Keyes 3-4, Mello 2-5, White 2-6, Krall 1-4, Peterson 0-1, Brice 0-2), Whitworth 10-21 (Pilkinton 3-7, Burke 2-2, Pomante 2-4, Fanene 1-2, Bluff 1-2, Delaney 1-3, Orrell 0-1). Rebounds—Whitman 35 (White 9), Whitworth 39 (Dalaney 6). Assists—Whitman 21 (Peterson 6), Whitworth 14 (Pilkinton 6). Total Fouls—Whitman 18, Whitworth 14. A—215.

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