WALLA WALLA - Victor Bull, Kyle MacTaggart and Cameron Schilling combined for 43 points and 24 rebounds Saturday night to lead Pacific Lutheran to a 61-57 Northwest Conference men's basketball victory over the Whitman Missionaries.
In a game where offenses sputtered and points were hard to come by, PLU made 28-of-31 from the free throw line to edge Whitman in Sherwood Center.
Pacific Lutheran squared its Northwest Conference record at 2-2 and raised its overall mark to 7-5 while Whitman had a six-game winning streak snapped and is now 8-5 overall and 1-3 in the NWC.
Pacific Lutheran wrapped up a back-and-forth first half with a 32-29 advantage, but Whitman rallied early in the second stanza to take leads of 36-34 and 41-40.
The Lutes regained the lead for good on their next possession when Victor Bull put back his own miss with 13 minutes left on the clock. The visitors then held Whitman at bay the rest of the way, scoring 13 of their last 19 points from the free throw stripe.
After Pacific Lutheran extended its lead to 46-41, Whitman closed to within two points on three occasions over a three-minute span. Buckets by Andrew Earnest, Kyle MacTaggart and Kole Podowicz inflated Pacific Lutheran's lead to eight points, but Brandon Shaw capped a 6-0 Whitman run with a steal and finish at the other end to pull the Missionaries to within 57-55 at the 2:37 mark.
After the two teams traded a pair of free throws, two turnovers inside the final minute sealed Whitman's doom. Bull added two free throws with five seconds left on the clock to finish the scoring.
MacTaggart, who made all 10 of his free throws, paced the Lutes with 15 points, while Bull and Schilling were a combined 12-of-13 from the line in scoring 14 points apiece. All three players had four offensive and four defensive rebounds for a total of eight each.
Peter Clark nailed five 3-pointers for Whitman for a team-high 15 points. Whitman outboarded the Lutes 43-36 for the game and had three more field goals (19-16), but Pacific Lutheran compensated by outscoring the home team by 15 points at the free throw line.
Pacific Lutheran hosts Puget Sound at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Northwest Conference action.
(Courtesy of Whitman Sports Information Office)