SWX - Whitworth upends No. 3 Wisconsin-Whitewater - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth - Basketball

Whitworth upends No. 3 Wisconsin-Whitewater

by Whitworth Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. - Because Whitworth University took care of the basketball the Pirates were able to upset third-ranked and previously unbeaten Wisconsin-Whitewater 94-84 in a non-conference men's basketball game on Tuesday night in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

The Pirates improved to 7-2 by making 54% of their shots from the field, 52% from three point range, and committing only three turnovers. The Warhawks dropped to 12-1 despite a 36-23 rebounding advantage and getting 13 more free throw attempts.

Point guard Eric Beal led five Pirates in double figures with 18 points to go along with nine assists and three steals without committing a turnover. He keyed Whitworth's attack as the Bucs never gave up the lead throughout the second half.

The first included seven lead changes and six ties before Whitworth made a late run. After DJ Dantzler pulled up for a three pointer, the Warhawks had a 30-29 lead with just over four minutes to play in the period. But it would be their last lead of the game.

David Riley pulled up for a jumper to give the Pirates the lead back, and Bo Gregg followed with a three-pointer for a 34-30 Pirate advantage. After a turnover with nine seconds left, Beal drove the length of the floor for a lay up to give Whitworth a 44-37 edge heading to the locker rooms. The Warhawks trailed despite shooting 60% (12-20) and holding a 17-7 rebounding edge. But UWW had committed 12 turnovers, while Whitworth only had one.

Whitewater made a couple of runs at pulling even in the second half. Dustin Mitchell scored an opening basket and Alex Edmunds hit two free throws to immediately pull the Warhawks within three. But Clay Gebbers answered with a three pointer for the Pirates. Phil Negri canned two free throws to get UWW within 63-60, but Jack Loofburrow answered with a basket for the Bucs. Finally Mike Bendall's free throws pulled Whitewater within 66-64 with 8:24 to play. But Whitworth went on a 10-2 run, including six points by Loofburrow, to grab its first double digit lead of the game at 76-66 with 6:20 to play.

Danzler hit two free throws with 3:20 to go to pull the Warhawks within 85-76, but Nate Montgomery scored inside and Riley hit a three to five the Pirates a 90-76 lead with 2:22 to go.

Felix Friedt also had 18 points for Whitworth, while Loofburrow had 17 off of the bench. Riley scored 15 and Montgomery finished with 12, ten in the second half. Gregg led the Bucs with six rebounds. Whitworth was 32-59 from the field and 11-21 from three point range.

Mitchell led the Warhawks with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Dantzler scored 16 points off of the bench. Negri and Bendall had a dozen points each, and Negri led his team with four assists. Whitewater, the nation's leader in field goal percentage as a team, finished 23-47 (48.9%) from the floor. But UWW struggled in the second half (11-27 for 40.7%).

Whitworth, winners of six straight games, heads into Northwest Conference play this weekend at Willamette (Saturday) and Lewis & Clark (Sunday). Both games begin at 3:00 p.m.

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