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

Whitworth uses second-half run to beat Whitman, take over first place in Northwest Conference

By Ethan Myers The Spokesman-Review

A huge second-half surge helped the Whitworth men’s basketball team defeat Whitman 92-74 Tuesday night in Walla Walla and take over first place alone in the Northwest Conference.

After starting 8-0 in conference play, including a win over Whitman in Spokane earlier this month, the Pirates (13-7, 9-2) dropped the past two on the road to Pacific and Willamette. Prior to the game, Whitworth sat neck and neck with Whitman (14-6, 8-3) in the conference standings.

A physical first half saw the conference rivals trading blows without much separation. Eight Pirates scored in the first 20 minutes. Led by senior forward Jander Cline, who had 18 points at halftime, the Blues took a 36-32 lead into halftime.

After Whitworth senior forward Jake Holtz picked up his fourth foul just a minute into the second half, Cline scored to give the Blues an eight-point lead and the game seemed in danger of getting out of reach.

But minutes later, the Pirates stormed ahead with a 26-5 scoring run, including 15 unanswered points. While nothing seemed to go Whitman’s way, the Pirates got out in transition and hit a number of 3-pointers. Whitworth cashed in on nine of its 12 3-point attempts in the second half.

The Pirates stretched the lead to 25 and the Blues never got back into the game.

Junior guard Jojo Anderson scored 28 points for the Pirates, with 24 coming in the second half. Sophomore forward Colton Looney added a career-high 19 points, and went 4 of 5 on 3-pointers. Senior guard Sullivan Menard had 18 points to go with eight rebounds.

Cline, who did not play in the teams’ last matchup, led the Blues in scoring with 27 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field. Senior guard Jai Deshpande added 16 points.

Whitworth will host Lewis & Clark on Saturday in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.