Whitworth Cruises Over UC Santa Cruz 61-48 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Whitworth Cruises Over UC Santa Cruz 61-48

SPOKANE, Wash. – Only three nights after rolling up its best offensive performance of the season, the Whitworth men's basketball team turned up the defense in a 61-48 win over visiting UC Santa Cruz in a non-conference men's basketball game on Saturday night in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

The 15th-ranked Pirates (3-1), who shot nearly 60% from the field in a 90-75 win at Montana Tech on Wednesday night, held the Banana Slugs (2-5) to 36% shooting from the field and finished with a 42-30 edge in rebounding.

"We knew coming in that our defense had to improve and set some goals which I was pleased we were able to achieve," said Pirate head coach Matt Logie.  "Anytime you hold a team to 36% shooting and under 50 Pts you are going to have a great chance to win."

George Valley led Whitworth in scoring for the second straight game with 17 points.  Colton McCargar added eight points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.

UCSC used a 9-0 run in the early minutes to grab a 12-8 lead after a jumper by Trent Reeves.  It was the Banana Slug's largest lead of the game.  The teams traded leads three times with UCSC taking its final lead at 19-17 on a three-pointer by James Hidalgo.  But Mack Larkin's basket sparked an 8-0 run for Whitworth and the Pirates would eventually take a 31-23 lead into the locker rooms at halftime.

UCSC opened the second half with a three-pointer by Jared Ponce and a basket by James Townsend to cut the lead to three.  The Slugs were still within 39-35 just over five minutes into the second period.  But then Whitworth went on another 8-0 spurt to take its first double-digit lead of the half.  Hank Aldous and Valle each hit threes in the run.  Two free throws by McCargar with under a minute to play gave the Pirates their largest lead of the game at 61-45.

Valle was 4-8 from the field and 7-10 from the free throw line.  He was the only Pirate in double figures, but nine different Whitworth players scored a basket.  The Bucs made 43% (20-47) from the field and 33% (5-15) from three point range. Whitworth also struggled from the free throw line, making only 55% (16-29).

"George Valle really gave us a great offensive spark inside and out in the second half," Logie said.

But the Pirate defense held UCSC to 36% (20-55) from the field, 24% (5-21) from three-point range.  Reeves led the Banana Slugs with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Hidalgo came off of the bench for seven points.

Whitworth won its 12th straight game against UCSC.

  • College

    • EWU Athletic Director Bill Chaves joins SWX Tonight after playoff snub

      Despite being ranked 19th in the STATS FCS rankings, Eastern Washington fell short of and FCS Tournament berth. On Monday, just over 24 hours after the snub, Eagle Athletic Director Bill Chaves joined SWX Tonight to talk about missing the playoffs, recap Aaron Best's first year at the helm and take a look at the university's basketball programs.

    • Press Pass Pullman: Apple Cup Week

      In this week's episode of Press Pass Pullman, Mike Leach tackles important topics like how to win your family Thanksgiving football game. Before that, he talks about preparing for the Huskies with a bye week, Jake Browning, and playoffs. In the (extended) 'Fan Question of the Week,' he touches on holiday traditions, turducken, and which states are his favorite and least favorite. Theo Lawson also joins the show to discuss this year's UW squad and last year's Apple Cup.

    • Super 8 Plays of the Week 11/20

      Check out the football championship edition of our Super 8 Plays of the Week.

    • Eags fall short against Georgia State in MGM Resorts Main Event opener

      Eagle head coach Shantay Legans knew the Panthers were going to be a handful for his road-weary team, and a valiant defensive effort in the first half and game-ending 11-1 run by EWU wasn't enough.

    • Eags denied playoff spot as Sblendorio picks up final weekly honor

      By EWU Athletics A near record-breaking performance by wide receiver Nic Sblendorio earned him an honor on Sunday (Nov. 19), but earlier in the day the Eastern Washington University football team was dealt a shocking blow when it was not selected to play in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.   Eastern wrapped up a 7-4 finish overall and 6-2 record in league play with a 59-33 romp over Portland State on Saturday, a game in which the senior caught nine ...
    • Gonzaga uses huge 2nd half to beat Utah State 79-66

      The 3-point shooting of Utah State gave No. 17 Gonzaga fits in the first half on Saturday night. The Aggies threw a scare into Gonzaga before the Bulldogs woke up in the second half and rolled to a 79-66 victory.