Pirates Top Lewis & Clark, Advance to NWC FInals - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pirates Top Lewis & Clark, Advance to NWC FInals

SPOKANE, Wash. – Wade Gebbers scored 22 points and 8th-ranked Whitworth will play for a seventh straight trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament after the Pirates defeated visiting Lewis & Clark 74-69 in the Northwest Conference tournament semifinals on Thursday night.

Whitworth improved to 23-3 and will host Whitman College in Saturday's NWC Tournament Championship game at 7:00 pm.  The Missionaries (19-7) topped George Fox 90-78 in tonight's other semifinal.  The winner of Saturday's game receives the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Lewis & Clark (16-10) stayed right with the Pirates despite the fact that the Pioneers did not have All-NWC guard James Hollins in the lineup.

"Lewis & Clark played really hard and shot the ball really well," said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie.  "But tonight our experienced guys really stepped up when the game was in the balance."

The Pirates jumped out quickly, taking a 10-4 lead on Colton McCargar's three-pointer and stretching the advantage to 20-9 following a three by Gebbers.  When Gebbers pulled up for a short jumper that made the score 27-15, Whitworth had taken its largest lead of the game.  But the Pioneers closed the half by outscoring the Pirates 13-7.  Dexter Pearce scored eight of those final 13 points for L&C.

Dustin McConnell's three-pointer gave Whitworth a 39-33 lead early in the second half.  But the Pioneers then went on a 9-0 run – three-pointers by Ross Erickson, Pearce and Serg Ovchinnikov – to grab their only lead of the game at 42-39.  The Pirates responded with a 12-1 run over the next four minutes to go back up 51-43 with 10:56 to play.  Gebbers had five points in the run.

Whitworth still led 70-63 when L&C closed to within 70-67 on Connor Freeberg's basket with 1:21 to go.  After an exchange of scoreless possessions, Taylor Farnsworth made a pair of free throws for the Bucs with 21 seconds to go before Freeberg scored again with 14.5 to play.  McCargar clinched the game with two more free throws with two seconds left.

"Wade got hot in the second half and Colton and Dustin both made big shots," Logie said.  "And we cleaned up the defensive glass in the second half, which was big."

Gebbers was 8-16 from the field, 6-13 from three-point range, for his 22 points.  George Valle contributed 16 points while McCargar finished with 14.  McConnell totaled 13 points, six assists and seven rebounds.   Whitworth shot 48% (28-58) from the field, 52% (13-25) from beyond the arc.

Pearce led L&C with 19 points, making 5-9 from beyond the arc.  Ovchinnikov made 5-7 from three-point range for 15 points and Erickson totaled twelve points and seven boards.  The Pioneers shot 44% (25-57) from the field, 52% (12-23) from beyond the arc. 

L&C outrebounded Whitworth 38-29, but the Pirates held a 13-8 advantage in turnovers.

Whitworth will play in its eighth consecutive NWC tournament title game.  The Pirates have won 11 NWC tournament games in a row since falling to Puget Sound in the 2006 NWC tournament final. 

  • College

    • 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.

    • Eagles win big over Portland State 59-33

      After receiving first-round byes in the previous five appearances in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, the Eagles are in a wait-and-see mode following a dominant 59-33 Big Sky Conference victory over Portland State.

    • Vandals struggle in 13-7 loss to Coastal Carolina

      Idaho found the end zone on the game’s opening drive, but Coastal Carolina accounted for the rest of the scoring as the Vandals (3-7, 2-4 Sun Belt) suffered a 13-7 defeat in their home finale Saturday.