On a night when nearly every name on the Whitworth Pirates’ roster was called, no one got a louder cheer than JT McDermott.
With the game easily in Whitworth’s control, the freshman from Danfield, California, stepped to the line for a pair of free throws. He missed the first but sank the second, and when he did the Pirates’ bench erupted in celebration.
“We got pretty hot there in the second half and seeing them come in and extend that, it’s pretty special,” senior Kyle Roach said of his teammates. “Especially when it’s a guy’s first points in his college career.”
Led by junior Ben College’s 28, the Whitworth men’s basketball team got points from 16 players and shattered its single-game record for points in a 143-95 nonconference shellacking of the Concordia Chicago Cougars on Wednesday at the Fieldhouse.
It was the fourth consecutive game in which Whitworth has scored more than 100 points, the first such streak in school history.
Freshman Rowan Anderson put back a layup for the record-breaking 124th point with 5 minutes, 44 seconds to go.
Whitworth hit 47 of 78 field-goal attempts and set a school record for free throws made (40) and attempted (49).
The Cougars (2-8) were called for 32 fouls and had three players foul out. After leading 32-30 midway through the first half, they never again led.
“They hit some tough shots early and they got hot,” Roach said. “We were really pushing it on offense, going fast, trying to beat them back on defense. … We were getting wide-open looks for whoever was in the right spot.”
Roach finished with 18 points, and junior Jordan Lester added a season-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Senior Jared Christy also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Up 71-56 at halftime, the Pirates settled in on defense in the second, holding the Cougars to 39 points and 37.8-percent shooting from the field after half.
“In the first half they made some tough shots, and I thought we challenged well. Other times we needed to be tighter on ‘D,’ ” Pirates head coach Matt Logie said. “In the second half I thought we were able to do that, and it showed in our efficiency numbers.”
Over this four-game stretch – all at home – Whitworth has shot 60.5 percent from the field and scored an average of 121 points. Those four opponents are a combined 11-22 this season.
“We’ve played some teams who play at a pretty fast clip, so there’s been a lot of possessions and we’ve been pretty efficient all year,” Logie said. “It’s great to have that confidence heading into Christmas break.”
The Pirates improved to 8-1 and head to Las Vegas for nonconference games on Dec. 29 and 30.
They resume Northwest Conference play on Jan. 4 at Lewis & Clark.
They next play at the Fieldhouse on Jan. 8, against Whitman.