22nd-ranked Whitworth rolls to 12th straight win - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth Basketball

22nd-ranked Whitworth rolls to 12th straight win

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by Whitworth Athletics

TACOMA, Wash. - Whitworth University clamped down hard defensively on Pacific Lutheran University in the second half during Saturday's 75-52 Northwest Conference road victory in Olson Auditorium.

The 22nd-ranked Pirates (13-2 overall, 6-0 NWC) won their 12th straight game by holding the Lutes (6-7, 4-2) to only 19.2% (5-26) shooting from the field in the second half.

Nate Montgomery led all scorers with 23 points to pace the Pirates.

As good as Whitworth's defense was in the second half, Montgomery and the Pirate offense was that good in the first period. Montgomery scored 19 of his 23 points before halftime to help Whitworth take a 50-36 lead into the locker rooms. After PLU broke out to an 11-6 lead, the Bucs tied the game 11-11 on Montgomery's layup. The half remained close until Whitworth turned a 36-33 lead into a 14-point halftime advantage with a 14-3 run over the final three-and-a-half minutes of the period. The Pirates went 16-32 (50%) from the field and 12-14 (85.7%) from the free throw line in the first half.

Eric Beal pulled up for a three-pointer with 11 minutes to play to give Whitworth a 63-42 lead and the Pirates led by at least 20 points the rest of the way. Bo Gregg's jumper gave the Bucs their largest lead (73-48) with 4:03 left in the game. Whitworth outscored PLU 25-16 in the second half, the lowest scoring half for an opponent this season. The Lutes were 5-26 from the field, including 0-5 from beyond the arc.

Montgomery hit 8-12 from the floor and 6-8 from the line to lead four Pirates in double figures. Gregg scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds off of the bench. Beal finished with 11 points and four assists, while David Riley added 10 points. Whitworth shot 48.2% (27-56) from the field and 77.8% (14-18) from the free throw line.

Curtis Trondsen came off of the bench to lead PLU with 18 points, but only scored two of those points after halftime. Victor Bull finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Whitworth's 12 game winning streak is the longest since the team opened the 2006-07 season 13-0. The Pirates will put the streak on the line on Tuesday when they host Whitman College (9-6, 3-3) at 8:00 p.m. in the Fieldhouse. Whitworth is tied for first place in the NWC with Linfield College (8-6, 6-0).

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