Whitworth Men's Basketball Battles Past Hamline 69-56 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth Men's Basketball Battles Past Hamline 69-56

Christian Jurlina had a career-high 14 rebounds in the Pirates win on Friday. Christian Jurlina had a career-high 14 rebounds in the Pirates win on Friday.

by Whitworth Athletics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Whitworth used an 18-2 run in the final six and a half minutes of the game to pull away from Hamline University for a 69-56 non-conference men’s basketball win on Friday night at the Colorado College Thanksgiving Classic.

The Pirates, ranked third in the D3hoops.com preseason poll, improved to 4-0.  The Pipers fell to 1-2.

On a night when last season’s Northwest Conference Player of the Year Kenny Love did not suit up, Christian Jurlina and George Valle stepped up to lead Whitworth.  Jurlina posted a double-double with 18 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.  Valle finished with a game-high 19 points.

Travis VanElsberg led Hamline with 11 points off of the bench.

Whitworth trailed only once in the game, after Quinton Garvis hit a three-pointer to give the Pipers a 3-0 lead just over a minute into the contest.  The Pirates answered with seven straight points, including a three-pointer by Valle, and never trailed again.  Whitworth built a ten-point lead twice in the opening half, the second at 26-16 following a three-pointer by Derek Isaak.  But Hamline fought back to within 35-31 at halftime.

The Pirates stretched the lead back to nine points early in the second half when Drew Sears’ put-back basketball made the score 42-33.  Hamline continued to battle, cutting the lead to only two points several times over the next nine minutes, the final time at 51-49 after another three by Garvis with 6:31 left in the game.

But that’s when Whitworth went on its 18-2 run that put the game away.  Matt Staudacher scored twice to start the run and Jurlina hit a three-pointer out of a timeout to give the Bucs a 62-53 lead.  Valle followed with a put-back bucket that gave Whitworth its first double-digit lead and Forest Baker finished off the run with a tip-in that gave the Pirates their largest lead at 69-53.

Hamline got a final three-pointer just before the buzzer to account for the final points.

Neither team shot well.  Whitworth went 22-52 (42.3%) from the floor and only 4-17 (23.5%) from three-point range.  But the Pirates’ defense held Hamline to 20-59 (33.9%) from the floor and only 4-21 (19%) from beyond the arc.

Staudacher finished with 11 points to give Whitworth three players in double figures and he also dished five assists.  Jurlina’s career-high of 14 rebounds surpassed his previous best of 12 against Whitman set last season.

Whitworth will close its participation in the Thanksgiving Classic by facing off against host Colorado College on Saturday at 7:00 pm (MST).

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