PLEASANT Hill, Calif. - Whitworth rebounded from poor shooting in the opening half to make 61% of its shots in the second period in a 67-53 win over Cal Lutheran in the opening game of the NWC-SCIAC Challenge on Friday morning at Diablo Valley College.
The Pirates (3-0) made only 26% (7-27) from the field in the first half and was fortunate to take a 23-21 lead into the locker rooms after the Kingsmen led much of the first half. But CLU was even colder, making only 27% (6-22) from the field. CLU (1-1) took its largest lead at 13-8 just over nine minutes into the game. But Whitworth outscored the Kingsmen 15-8 over the rest of the half.
Idris Lasisi scored on an ally-oop pass from Wade Gebbers to open the second half and then Felix Freidt converted a three-point play to give the Pirates a 28-21 advantage in the opening minutes. But Jayvaughn Nettles drilled a three-pointer to get CLU back within 34-33. The Pirates' lead was still only 49-48 with seven minutes to play before Whitworth closed the game on an 18-5 run. Jack Loofburrow helped spark the Pirates by scoring 10 of his 13 points after halftime. Whitworth made 11-18 shots from the field in the second half and went 20-23 from the free throw line.
Lasisi led all players with 16 points. Loofburrow added nine rebounds to his 13 points for the Pirates. Dustin McConnell came off of the bench to score 11 points.
Aaron Van Klaveren led CLU with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ryan Burris scored a dozen points off of the bench and Mike Harris had 11 for the Kingsmen.
Notes: Whitworth is now 3-0 as an NCAA Division III member against CLU. This was the teams' first meeting since 2006. Whitman defeated Chapman 77-64 in Saturday's second game of the NWC-SCIAC Challenge. Whitworth and Whitman are mebers of the Northwest Conference (NWC), while CLU and Chapman are members of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (SCIAC).
Up Next: Whitworth will play Chapman on Saturday at 10:00 am, while Whitman plays Cal Lutheran at Noon.