Whitworth Men Stay Unbeaten With Win Over Puget Sound - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth Men Stay Unbeaten With Win Over Puget Sound

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by Whitworth Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University closed out the first half of its Northwest Conference men’s basketball schedule with an 87-68 win over visiting Puget Sound on Saturday night.

The #1-ranked Pirates improved to 17-0 overall and 8-0 in the NWC and hold a two-game lead in the conference standings at the halfway point.

Kenny Love, Christian Jurlina and George Valle all surpassed 20 points while leading Whitworth to a 21st consecutive victory at home.

“Each of those three guys presents significant offensive challenges for the defense and can score from all areas on the floor,” said Pirate head coach Matt Logie.  “And our other guys do such an effective job of getting them the ball in good spots, which leads to good shots.”

Kohl Meyer scored the first five points for the Loggers (9-8 overall, 4-4 NWC), giving Puget Sound its only lead of the game at 5-4 early in the contest.  But Whitworth answered with a 7-1 run and never trailed again.  Love’s basket extended the lead to 22-13, but the Loggers fought back to within 22-20 with 8:24 to play in the first period.  They could get no closer.  The Pirates took their largest lead of the half at 41-30 on Valle’s layup, but Carlos Mancasola hit a three-pointer to get UPS within 41-33 at halftime.

Whitworth quickly stretched the lead in the opening minutes of the second half, going ahead 51-35 on Love’s three-pointer.  Valle’s layup gave the Bucs their first 20-point lead of the game at 61-41 just over six minutes into the second half.  The Loggers were able to cut the margin to 63-49 on another Mancasola three-pointer, but that was as close as UPS would get down the stretch.  Valle’s three-pointer increased the advantage back to 74-53 and he scored again to make it 79-55, giving Whitworth its largest lead of the game with just over five minutes to play.

Valle finished with 23 points and five boards, while Love had 21 points and dished five assists.  Jurlina scored 20 and also had five rebounds.  After shooting 46% in the first half Whitworth made 65% in the second period to finish the game 29-52 (55.8%) from the floor.  The Pirates made 9-17 (53%) from three-point range and outrebounded Puget Sound 35-27.

“The key to our offense has been our ball movement over the last three games,” Logie said.  “We are taking what the defense gives and playing with confidence.”

Meyer had a game-high 24 points to lead the Loggers.  Mancasola scored 12, while Timmy Saunders and Jimmy Wohrer came off of the bench for 11 and 10 points, respectively.  Puget Sound finished the game 22-55 (40%) from the floor, 12-31 (39%) from beyond the arc.

Whitworth will open the second round of its NWC schedule on the road at Linfield (Friday) and Lewis & Clark (Saturday) next weekend.

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