#1 Whitworth Beats Willamette, Clinches Outright NWC Crown

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SPOKANE, Wash. -- David Riley drained a school-record 10 three-pointers to lead #1-ranked Whitworth to a 115-69 win over visiting Willamette in a game that clinched the outright Northwest Conference men's basketball championship for the Pirates.

Riley was 10-19 from three-point range to break the previous record of eight he shared with teammate Jack Loofburrow. He finished with a game-high 33 points to help Whitworth improve to 22-0 overall, 13-0 in the NWC.

With the win the Bucs clinched the outright Northwest Conference championship, their fourth NWC crown in the last five years.

The final outcome was never in doubt as Riley made his first three tries from beyond the arc to help the Pirates take an 11-2 lead in front of a season-high crowd of 1,844. Whitworth stretched the advantage to 25-5 on a lay up by Felix Friedt and eventually led 46-17 after a jumper by Michael Taylor (Brewster). But Willamette (6-16, 3-10) fought back to within 61-38 by halftime.

The Bearcats kept momentum out of the break and pulled within 18 points (64-46) on a three-pointer by Taylor Mounts just over one minute into the second half. But Whitworth answered with a 7-0 run and steadily pulled away over the rest of the game.

Taylor added 28 points for Whitworth, while Friedt posted a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Clay Gebbers dished seven assists for the Pirates, who made 53% (39-74) from the field and 42% (16-38) from three-point range. Whitworth dominated the boards to the tune of a 52-30 rebounding advantage.

Terrell Malley and Mounts each scored 17 points to lead Willamette. Ryan Meehan added 11 points while Robbie Kunke grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Whitworth extended its home-court winning streak to 33 in a row and the Pirates have now won 33 consecutive regular season NWC contests.

Whitworth will put both of those streaks on the line when it hosts George Fox on Saturday night. Willamette travels to play at Whitman on Saturday.