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WHITMAN 86, GEORGE FOX 77: Shaw Sparks Missionaries Past Bruins in Overtime
NEWBERG, Ore. – Point guard Brandon Shaw scored 13 of his team’s 17 overtime points, which was half his total for the game, leading the Whitman College Missionaries to an 86-77 win over the George Fox University Bruins in a Northwest Conference nail-biter Saturday evening here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
The game was almost an hour late starting due to a late arrival by the officials, and the delay appeared to affect both teams in the early going as each came out ice-cold on offense. The Missionaries hit only three of their first 12 shot attempts and the Bruins only one of 12. Whitman managed an 11-3 lead on a pair of Drew Raher free throws with 14:39 left in the half. Two free throws each by Rich Smith and Cole Whitehurst cut the Bruins’ deficit to 11-5, and Whitehurst dunked at 9:07 for the Bruins’ first basket in over eight minutes to make it 14-9.
Whitman stretched its lead to nine at 20-11 on a free throw by Brandon Shaw with 6:56 to play before the Bruins answered with back-to-back drives by Whitehurst and Stephen Wiseley. Ignas Pavilonis, who hails from Lithuania, then ignited an 11-5 run that boosted the Whitman lead to 11 at 31-20 with 3:54 to go. Mike Taylor sparked a final run of 13-5 by the Bruins with a jumper and a three-pointer, bringing the home team within three at 36-33 at halftime.
Whitman maintained a slim lead between one and five points for half of the second period, finally extending it to seven on two Pavilonis free throws that made it 55-48 with 10:48 left. A 9-2 run by the Bruins, featuring two Taylor baskets, a Cam Rier three, and a Wiseley layup, tied it 57-57 with 6:56 to go.
Shaw drove inside for two buckets in traffic and Peter Clark hit a three while the Bruins were missing their next four shots and committing two turnovers, resulting in a 64-57 Whitman lead with 3:38 left. Rier’s three at 2:47 ended the Missionaries’ run, and the Bruins got within three at 67-64 on two Whitehurst free throws with 1:27 to play. A Whitehurst layup with 12 seconds left made it a one-point 67-66 game, but Josh Duckworth hit two free throws with 10 seconds left. Rier then sent the game into overtime at 69-all with an off-balance three from the right sideline that hit nothing but net as time expired.
After Shaw drove for two baskets around a Wiseley layup to start the overtime, Whitehurst gave the Bruins their first lead since the first 30 seconds of the game with a three-point play at the 3:33 mark. Shaw then drove, scored, and hit a free throw for a 76-74 Whitman lead with three minutes left, and following a Bruin turnover, hit two more free throws for a 78-74 lead with 2:13 remaining. The Missionaries sealed the game with six free throws and yet another Shaw driving layup in the final 1:17.
Whitehurst led the Bruins with his third double-double of the season, scoring 20 points with a game-high 12 rebounds. Wiseley added 15 points, Taylor and Rier 14 (a career high for Rier), and Smith 10. Smith just missed a double-double of his own with nine rebounds as the Bruins owned the glass 38-33. Taylor and Corey Clark handed out four assists apiece, and Taylor made three steals. The Bruins finished with a .448 shooting mark (26-58), including 8-22 (.364) on threes, and shot .680 (17-25) from the line.
Shaw’s big scoring night left him with 998 career points, two shy of becoming the 20th player in Whitman history to reach 1,000 for a career. He also led the Missionaries with seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Duckworth chipped in with 16 points, and Pavilonis added 13. Whitman wound up hitting 25-60 from the field (.417), including 7-19 from downtown (.368), and were 29-36 (.806) from the stripe.
NEXT: George Fox (4-11, NWC 2-4) visits the University of Puget Sound Friday while Whitman (10-5, NWC 3-3) is back in action Tuesday at Whitworth University, both games tipping off at 8:00 p.m. NWC women’s games will precede the men’s game at 6:00 p.m.