WHITWORTH 75, GEORGE FOX 48: No. 8 Pirates Pull Away from Bruins in 2nd Half
SPOKANE, Wash. – After staying with the eighth-ranked Whitworth University Pirates for most of the first half, the visiting George Fox University Bruins saw the defending Northwest Conference champions open it up in the second half and pull away for a 75-48 victory in men's basketball action Saturday night here at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
Suffering their 13th straight setback to the Pirates, the Bruins fell to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the conference. Whitworth, which is favored to win the NWC once again under new coach Matt Logie, improved to 6-0 on the season and 2-0 in league play.
Idris Lasisi hit a jumper 15 seconds into the game for a quick Whitworth lead, but the Bruins responded 21 seconds later with a three-pointer by Mike Taylor, setting a back-and-forth tone for the early part of the game. A three by Wade Gebbers and two free throws by Felix Friedt put the Pirates up 7-3, but back came the Bruins to take a 9-7 lead on two more treys by Taylor. Mack Larkin's layup tied it, but a Sean Atkins free throw gave George Fox its final lead of 10-9 with 14:17 left in the half.
Friedt hit a freebie to tie it, then canned a layup to give the Pirates the lead for good at 12-10 with 13:14 left in the period. The Pirates led by no more than five for most of the rest of the half, the Bruins twice coming within a point at 22-21 following a basket by Matt Zandbergen and again at 25-24 with 4:37 to go on a three by Anthony Sanchez. However, the Pirates out-scored the Bruins 11-3 the rest of the way to take a 36-27 advantage into the break.
Jack Loofburrow hit a jumper and a three to key a 10-0 run by the Pirates to open up the second half, giving the home team a 46-27 lead with 15:53 left in the game. After Atkins scored for George Fox to end a string of 13 straight Whitworth points, the Pirates took off on another 13-0 outburst featuring two threes by Lasisi and another by Loofburrow, effectively securing the game with a 59-29 lead at the 11:31 mark. A 12-2 Bruin run got them within 20 at 61-41 with 6:49 left following another trey by Taylor, but that was as close as they could make it in the second half.
Taylor led the Bruins with 18 points, hitting 5-8 three-pointers, adding 10 rebounds and three assists and recording his first double-double of the season. Sanchez chipped in with 12 points, hitting a trio of triples. The Bruins shot .327 (18-55) as a team from the field, including 8-28 (.286) in the second half, hit .321 (9-28) from beyond the arc, and were only 3-7 from the line (.429).
Lasisi had 23 points, hitting 4-6 on threes, Friedt scored 15, and Loofburrow added 12 to pace the Pirates. Lasisi also grabbed eight rebounds as Whitworth held a 38-33 edge on the boards. Gebbers, Dustin McConnell, and Zach Payne had three assists each. The Pirates shot .464 (26-56) from the floor, .409 (9-22) from deep, and .824 (14-17) from the charity stripe.
NEXT: George Fox returns home to host Corban University Friday in a non-conference match at 8:00 p.m. The Bruin women will host Colorado College in a preliminary game at 6:00 p.m. ... Whitworth hosts Montana Tech Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in a non-conference matchup.