From staff reports
A strong finish to the first half and continued momentum in the second half helped Whitworth secure an important win Saturday night.
The 20th-ranked Pirates turned the game around with a 19-point run beginning shortly before halftime, and Whitworth defeated Pacific Lutheran 97-69 in a Northwest Conference men’s basketball game at the Fieldhouse.
The Pirates (11-2, 4-1 NWC) handed PLU its first conference loss and pulled even with the Lutes (9-5, 4-1), one game behind first-place Linfield.
Whitworth ended the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 44-38 lead at halftime. The Pirates stretched their lead to 54-38 with a Garrett Paxton jumper with 17:49 left in the second half.
Paxton led Whitworth with 19 points and Liam Fitzgerald scored 18. Jojo Anderson added 17 points, and Ryan Anderson and Jerry Twenge scored 10 apiece.
Seth Hall led the Lutes with 19 points.
Whitworth hosts Linfield and Pacific on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, before playing at Lewis & Clark on Friday and George Fox on Saturday, capping a stretch of six games in nine days.
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