Second-Half Surge Launches Whitman Men Over Calvin 84-67
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Outscoring the opposition 34-16 over the final 12 minutes, Whitman College wrapped up its non-conference slate with an 84-67 men's basketball victory over Michigan's Calvin College in a Friday night neutral-site game at Lynden (Wash.) High School.
Whitman, now 8-3 on the season, led by as many as nine points in the first half before Calvin tallied the final eight points to forge a 37-37 tie at the break.
The Knights, who saw their record slip to 5-6, scored the first two points of the second stanza and briefly pushed their lead to three at 43-40.
But Whitman senior David Michaels, who led all scorers with 22 points, made a layin and hit three of four free throws to put the Missionaries back on top, 46-45, with 15:25 left to play.
Calvin regained a three-point cushion and still led by one at 51-50 at the 12:31 mark. That's when Whitman took command for good with a four-minute 12-2 spurt that included four more points from Michaels and 3-point strikes by junior Peter Clark and sophomore LuQuam Thompson.
The Knights countered with the next four points to draw within 62-57, but Whitman pulled away as Michaels knocked down four more free throws and Clark drilled another three, pushing the Missionary lead to 69-57 with five minutes left on the clock.
After Calvin countered with a bucket, a 6-foot-10 sophomore Ben Eisenhardt finished a 3-point play in the paint and Whitman kept its advantage in double digits the rest of the way.
The Missionary advantage ballooned to 19 points with two minutes remaining after Clark canned two more shots from the 3-point stripe.
Michaels, a 6-foot-7 forward, made six of 11 shots from the floor and 10 of 12 free throws while scoring 19 of his 22 points in the second half. He also had four rebounds and two steals.
Senior guard Brandon Shaw added 16 points, making six of 12 field goal attempts while also pacing Whitman in rebounds with seven and steals with three.
Eisenhardt finished with 13 points and four boards. Clark's four 3-pointers accounted for 12 points.
Ryan Gilkey, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, chipped in with nine points and six rebounds. Whitman also got six points, five rebounds and three assists from Thompson and five points and four rebounds from junior Drew Raher.
Tom Snikkers (16 points, 7 rebounds) and Mickey DeVries (15 points, 6 rebounds) paced Calvin's offense. Matt DeBoer was good for 14 points.
Whitman fueled its second-half surge by shooting 51.9 percent (14-27) from the floor. The Missionaries made just one 3-pointer in the first half but drained five of 10 attempts from long range over the final 20 minutes.
Calvin made 13 of 31 field goal attempts in each half but failed to connect on any of its 10 3-point shots.
Both teams finished the night with 41 rebounds.
Calvin held early 7-2 and 9-5 leads, but Raher's 3-pointer triggered a 13-2 run that had Whitman on top 18-11 at the 11:42 mark of the first half.
Eisenhardt's jumper gave Whitman a nine-point spread at 24-15 at the midway point of the half, and the Missionaries led 33-25 with five minutes remaining after Gilkey converted five of six free throws over a 60-second time span.
Jumpers by Shaw and Eisenhardt kept Whitman's cushion at eight points, but the Knights used an 8-0 run over the final two minutes to pull even by halftime.
Calvin, which lost to Whitworth Thursday night in Mercer Island, Wash., was 16-12 last season and the runner-up in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Whitman returns to Northwest Conference action next weekend in Tacoma, Wash., playing Friday at Puget Sound and Saturday at Pacific Lutheran. Both games start at 8 p.m.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org