The men’s basketball team faced off against the Pacific University Boxers on Friday night in Oregon. The Pirates continued their now 13-game winning streak by beating the Boxers, 62-50. The pirates hold a conference record of 4-0. The match on Friday night began on a positive note for the Pirates when senior Matt Staudacher made the first points of the match with a 3-pointer. By the halfway mark of the first half, the Pirates had almost doubled the Boxer’s score, 14-8.
While Whitworth held the lead, it was clear that the Pirates were struggling with Pacific’s defensive strategy. The Pirates spent a lot of time in the first half looking for shots that were difficult to find.
With three and a half minutes left in the half, the Boxers were able to make a comeback and tie up the match at 22-22. However, the Pirates were able to take back the lead by the end of the half and finished with a score of 33-28.
“[Pacific] had a good game plan,” junior Kenny Love said. “We had to take what they were giving us and just use the opportunity to see how we could exploit the defense.”
The Pirates were able to keep up with Pacific’s defense in the second half and kept the ball on Whitworth’s half for most of the period. Staudacher once again began with a successful 3-pointer.
About half way through the second period, Whitworth held a small lead at 50-44. Steady scoring by both teams throughout the half kept Whitworth in the lead until the end of the game. The final score ended at 62-50.
“We needed to rebound the basketball. That was one of the most important keys going into this game,” head coach Matt Logie said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of finishing possessions.”
Staudacher led the team’s offense with five field goals and three 3-pointers. Senior George Valle secured the most rebounds with a total of eight by the end of the game.
As of Jan. 5, the men continue to hold their second-place national rank for Division III schools. Whitworth has an overall record of 11-0 and 596 points. The Pirates are ranked just below Augustana College which has a record of 12-0 and 625 points.
The men’s team will face Willamette in Salem, Oregon on Friday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m.