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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Whitworth men pull away late to beat Linfield 73-66, strengthen conference lead

From staff reports

Northwest Conference men’s basketball leader Whitworth pulled away late Friday night and survived a challenge from the NWC’s bottom team.

The Pirates sweated out a 73-66 win over Linfield at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

Whitworth (15-7, 11-2 NWC) won its third consecutive game to tighten its grip on the top position in the NWC standings. The Wildcats (7-15, 2-11) occupy the bottom spot in the NWC by half a game, but they gave Whitworth a test before running out of steam in the closing minutes.

The teams traded momentum throughout the second half, but Whitworth used a 7-0 run in the final 5 minutes to gain enough separation for the win.

Junior guard Jojo Anderson, a Spokane native, led Whitworth with 16 points. He shot 4 of 4 on 3-point attempts. Guard Garrett Long added 10 points. He hit back-to-back layups late in the game to help Whitworth break free from a one-possession game. Pirates guard Jerry Twenge and forward Jake Holtz combined for 20 points and 15 rebounds.

The Pirates shot 49% from the field and 8 of 23 (34.8%) from 3-point distance. Sharp free-throw shooting (15 of 16) helped Whitworth create an advantage.

Linfield shot 50.9% from the floor but went 4 of 15 (26.7%) from long range.

Women’s basketball

Whitworth 69, Linfield 54: The Pirates (7-15, 4-9 NWC) took control midway through the second quarter and preserved a comfortable lead throughout the second half to defeat the visiting Wildcats (11-11, 6-7) and snap a five-game skid.

It was a well-rounded effort from Whitworth, which played solid on defense, won the rebounding battle and had four players score in double figures.

Sophomore post Zalissa Sanfo recorded a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds. Guards Kimberly Dewey and Ashlyn Neilsen had 13 points apiece, and sophomore guard Mya Edwards added 10 points.

The Pirates matched a season high with 17 offensive rebounds and scored 21 second-chance points. They scored 25 points off 17 Linfield turnovers while committing a season-low eight turnovers.

Whitworth shot 33.8% from the field and 27.3% from 3-point range, but had one of its best showings of the season from the foul line (19 of 26).

Center Gillyan Landis led Linfield (11-11, 6-7) with 14 points. The Wildcats shot 37.7% from the field on the night, but went 2 of 13 from the field in the second quarter and fell behind by double digits.