SPOKANE, Wash. - Whitworth head coach Jim Hayford's 200th win could not have come at a better time for the Pirates. His team beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Thursday night to advance to the second round of the NCAA D-III National Tournament.
The 81-63 win avenged Whitworth's loss to C-M-S earlier this season.
Ross Nakamura scored a game-high 22 points for the Pirates, and helped his team pull away after a nail-biting first half. The game was tied in the final seconds of the first half, when Bo Gregg found David Riley, who knocked down a 3-point shot at the buzzer.
The Pirates turned on the offense in the second half, outscoring Claremont 39-23 on the way to the win.
Riley ended the game 12 points, including 3-of-6 from the 3-point line. Nate Montgomery added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Nakamura held the Stags' First Team All-SCIAC guard Jason Toney to just four points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Whitworth advances to the second round of the D-III playoffs. They'll play at Puget Sound in Tacoma on Saturday.