Whitworth men’s basketball team closed the second half on a big run and surged ahead in overtime to edge George Fox 105-101 last Saturday night.The Pirates were able to come up with the win despite never having led the game in regulation, with the only ties coming at 0-0 and 95-95. The Pirates played from behind for 39 of 40 regulation minutes. Whitworth trailed 95-87 with 1:11 to play in the game. In the second half, senior guard Colton McCargar went on a shooting streak to bring the Pirates within eight, after only two points in the first half. “We needed to put some points on the board but we also needed to get stops,” McCargar said. “Making those shots helped though, and that’s just having the confidence.” Following a 3-pointer from McCargar to make the score 95-90, junior forward Adam Wilks and sophomore forward George Valle trapped the GFU ball-handler on the inbounds play, forcing a travel. On the ensuing inbounds play, Love found freshman forward Christian Jurlina curling off a screen for an easy layup to bring the Pirates within three. However, the Pirates were not able to force a turnover on the next inbounds play, and a missed free throw by the Bruins set up an opportunity for the Bucs to tie the game. McConnell brought the ball up the floor, looking for that opportunity. “When they missed the free throw, I knew we needed a three,” McConnell said. “We ran a high-ball screen and I saw their guy go under it which gave me a good look.” Senior point guard Dustin McConnell came off of the screen set by junior forward Taylor Farnsworth at the top of the key and got an open shot for a 3, tying the score at 95. Neither team was able to capitalize on their last possession of regulation, sending the game into overtime. A right baseline jump shot from Jurlina to open the overtime period gave Whitworth the lead and a layup from McConnell putting them up 104-99 with 18 seconds left to seal the win. “They never quit. They hung in there and took advantage of every opportunity down the stretch,” head coach Matt Logie said. “I couldn’t be more proud.” The Pirates found themselves trailing early to a hot-shooting Bruins team on senior night. George Fox’s offense came out firing against the Whitworth man-to-man and zone defenses. The Bruins opened with a 25-7 lead. “They’ve got some good shooters,” McConnell said. “And they move the ball really well.” Freshman guard Kenny Love provided a spark to the offense, scoring 12 points without missing a shot in the first half. Despite Love’s efforts, the Pirate’s inability to slow down the Bruin’s offense kept the Pirates at bay, still trailing by double digits. A 3-pointer from senior guard Robby Douglas right before halftime brought the Pirates to within 11 going into the break. Seven players scored in double figures for the Pirates, led by their seniors McCargar with 22, McConnell with 15 and Douglas with 11. Logie is not yet sure how to describe his senior class, he said. “They’re still writing their story,” Logie said. “They don’t want this journey to end.” The win over George Fox completed the weekend sweep of the Oregon schools as the Pirates rolled over Linfield 91-59 on Friday night. Fifteen players recorded points in the game. McConnell, Valle and Love led the Pirates with 11 points apiece. Whitworth played the Whitman Missionaries Tuesday night in pursuit of an NWC record, fifth consecutive conference title. Check thewhitworthian.com for updates.
James Silberman Staff Writer
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