Whitworth Rallies Past Redlands in NCAA Tournament Opener - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Whitworth Rallies Past Redlands in NCAA Tournament Opener

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth used a 19-2 run in the second half to turnaround a double-digit deficit and came away with a 75-69 win over the University of Redlands in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament on Saturday night in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

The 6th-ranked Pirates (25-3), champions of the Northwest Conference, advance to play Emory University (20-6) in next Saturday's second round (location still to be announced).  The Bulldogs, champions of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, finish the season 22-6.

"What a great environment to play in, and the NCAA tournament is all about finding ways to advance and we did that tonight," said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie. 

Wade Gebbers and Colton McCargar scored a game-high 21 points apiece to lead Whitworth's comeback victory.  McCargar's jump shot with less than a minute to play gave the Pirates a 70-65 lead and the breathing room they would need down the stretch.

The first half flow went back and forth over the opening twelve minutes with eight ties and seven lead changes.  Whitworth appeared to take control when Dustin McConnell's three-pointer gave the Pirates a 33-27 lead with 5:38 to play.  But Redlands closed the half on a 14-2 run.  Ricky Peetz and Eric Radford hit big three-pointers during the burst and Matt Calhoun's layup gave the Bulldogs a 41-35 lead at the break.  Redlands hit 48% (13-27) of its shots in the first half, 50% (6-12) from three-point range.  Whitworth was 43% (12-28) from the field, 4-11 (36%) from beyond the arc.

The Pirates quickly closed to within 41-40 in the opening minutes of the second half following a Gebbers three-point play.  But Redlands responded.  Steven Williams converted and three-point play and Peetz drilled back to back three-pointers to stake the Bulldogs to their largest lead of the game at 57-47 with 13:18 to go. 

But that was when Whitworth went on its game-changing run.  McCargar, Gebbers and McConnell all hit three-points to pull the Pirates within 57-56 and another McConnell three-pointer gave the Bucs a 61-59 lead.  They would not trail again.  After McCargar converted a three-point play that gave Whitworth a 66-59 lead with 6:14 to go, Redlands scored six straight points, pulling within 66-65 on Alex Rudd's bucket.  The Bulldogs were within a single possession until McCargar hit his big pull-up jumper from 12 feet with 55 seconds left.  The Pirates made 5-6 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.

"Wade, Colton and Dustin made some huge shots and Zach Payne made a ton of winning plays," Logie said.

McConnell finished with 15 points and George Valle scored a dozen for Whitworth.  McConnell and McCargar had six rebounds each and Gebbers dished four assists.  The Pirates improved to 46% (13-28) in the second half, 50% (5-10) from beyond the arc.  

Redlands dropped to 39% (11-28) from the field in the second half, 23% (3-13) from three-point range.  Tristan Kirk led the Bulldogs with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Peetz and Rudd scored 14 points each.  Eric Radford led all players with 10 rebounds and Kirk did the same with six assists.

"Hats off to Redlands, we have great respect for their program and they are a really tough out," Logie concluded.  "I thought our guys really stepped up when their backs were against the wall and got defensive stops."

Whitworth's win over Redlands was the Pirates' second of the season. 

Whitworth, making its seventh NCAA tournament appearance in a row and eighth overall, has now advanced past the first round for the seventh straight time. 

 

  • College

    • Photo: Whitworth Athletics

      Joial Griffith named as Whitworth's new women's basketball coach

      Whitworth is coming off a 10-15 record in 2017-18.  Griffith takes over for Higgs, who won 361 games in 24 years leading the Pirates and ranked 48th in total victories among active Division III coaches at the time of her retirement.

    • Photo: Washington State Athletics

      Cougars fall 4-2 at No. 3 Stanford

      WSU (15-31-1, 7-19-1 Pac-12) outhit Stanford 10-6 but the Cardinal (43-8, 21-6 Pac-12) used three straight two-out hits in the sixth inning to even the game and take a 4-2 lead.

    • Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

      Gonzaga falls 4-3 against Santa Clara on Senior Day

      Gonzaga will be back in action on Thursday at the WCC Tournament at a time to be determined. Live coverage will be available on GoZags.com.

    • Gonzaga Runs Away Early in 9-0 Win Over Santa Clara

      SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga baseball posted nine runs in the first two innings and Alek Jacob struck out 12 on the way to a 9-0 shutout win over Santa Clara on Saturday night. The win moved Gonzaga to 29-21 overall and 16-10 in the West Coast Conference, and kept them within one game of Pepperdine for the league lead. The Waves beat Portland 6-2 to hold on to the top spot. On Sunday, a Gonzaga win and Pepperdine loss would clinch the No. 1 seed...

    • WSU Athletics

      Cougars comeback falls short; WSU loses to No. 3 Stanford 9-6

      WSU Athletics STANFORD, Calif. – Washington State brought the tying run on deck after scoring six runs in the ninth inning but No. 3 Stanford held on for a 9-6 victory at Sunken Diamond Saturday afternoon.   WSU (15-30-1, 7-18-1 Pac-12) received two-hit games from Andres Alvarez, Dillon Plew and Brody Barnum. Blake Clanton had a three-run triple as part of a six-run ninth inning for the Cougars who saw the game's final out made after Barnum singled to right field to drive ...
    • Gonzaga baseball clinches WCC Tournament berth with 5-3 win over Santa Clara

      Gonzaga baseball took care of business with a solid start from Daniel Bies and four home runs in a 5-3 win over Santa Clara Friday night that clinched a berth in next week’s four-team WCC Tournament. 

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/