Pirates to Play Two in Texas

SPOKANE, Wash. – Coming off of a dramatic win in its most recent game, Whitworth hits the road for the Trinity Division III National Invitational this week in San Antonio Texas.  The 8th-ranked Pirates will take on 16th-ranked Wis.-Whitewater on Wednesday then play Southwestern (Texas) on Thursday.  Live statistics will be available for both games.

Trinity University is hosting the Division III National Invitational over the three days from Dec. 20-22.  Fourteen schools, including the hosts, will be participating in the event.

Date

Time

Game

Live Coverage

Wednesday, Nov. 21

4:00 p.m. CT / 2:00 p.m. PT

Whitworth vs. Wis.-Whitewater

Live Stats

Thursday, Nov. 22

2:00 p.m. CT / Noon PT

Whitworth vs. Southwestern (Tex.)

Live Stats


The Pirates:
Whitworth was coming off of finals and its first home loss in three seasons and the Pirates got all they could handle from visiting Northwestern College (Minn.) on Sunday evening.  Whitworth escaped with a 78-76 win when Idris Lasisi hit a three-pointer with 1.3 seconds to play in the game.  His shot and Felix Friedt's 26 points and 12 rebounds helped the Pirates overcome the Eagles' hot shooting from three point range.  Northwestern made 14 of 21 shots from beyond the arc.  Whitworth led by ten points early in the second half, then had to rally from a seven-point deficit with just over six minutes to play.  Friedt's totals were season highs for both points and rebounds.  Wade Gebbers added 16 points (including four three-pointers) and four assists.  Lasisi finished with 15 points and Mack Larkin scored a career-high 14 points.

National Raking: Whitworth remained 8th in the fourth regular season D3hoops.com top 25 poll. Going back to the 2009-10 season, the Bucs have been ranked in the D3hoops.com top-25 for 25 consecutive polls. Last winter Whitworth reached #1 in the D3hoops.com poll twice, becoming the first school west of St. Paul, Minnesota to ever ascend to the top of the D3hoops.com national rankings.

Team Captains: The members of the Whitworth basketball team and coaching staff have voted Felix Friedt, Wade Gebbers and Michael Taylor as team captains for the 2011-12 season.

Streaks Ended: Whitworth saw two impressive winning streaks come to an end on December 10th.

Whitworth's 41-game home winning streak was halted in the loss to NAIA Div. I Montana Tech. It had been the longest active streak in NCAA Division III and dated to January of 2009.

The Pirates' streak of 22 consecutive home victories over non-conference opponents, that dated back to a 72-67 loss to Lewis-Clark State in December of 2000, also came to an end.

Rolling On: It's not exactly a streak, but the Bucs have won 60 of their last 65 games, an amazing run of success matched by few other college teams at any level.

Home-Sweet-Home: Whitworth has been stellar in the Fieldhouse throughout the 1990's and 2000's. Since the 2001-02 season the Pirates are 106-11 (.906) in the Whitworth Fieldhouse. Since the 2005-06 season, the Bucs are 73-4 (.948) at home. During the decade of the 1990s the Pirates won more than 80% of their games played at home.

The 41-game home court winning streak was the second-longest in Pirate history. The school record for consecutive home victories is 43, beginning during the 1994-95 season and ending during the 1997-98 season.

Learning (and winning) Against Legends: Whitworth's Matt Logie is in his first season as a head coach. Logie might have set a new standard for trial by fire as three of the first four coaches he went up against have combined for 69 years of head coaching experience and more than 1,170 victories. But Logie led the Pirates to victory against Chapman's Mike Bokosky (20 years), Cal Lutheran's Rich Rider (18 years) and Washington University's Mark Edwards (31 years).

Wade Leading the Way: Point guard Wade Gebbers is one of Whitworth's leading scorers so far this season, averaging 13.6 points per game and making 51% of his three-point tries through the first eight contests. Gebbers leads the team with 31 assists (3.9 apg) and he scored a career-high 25 points in the win over Washington University on November 20th.

Last season he averaged 3.35 assists per game (5th in the NWC) and his assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.07 - 1 was third highest in the NWC. He scored a season-high 20 points on Feb. 12, 2011 against George Fox, all in the second half, to lead Whitworth back from a three-point halftime deficit to an 89-66 win.

Herr Friedt: Since his sophomore year Felix Friedt has supplied the strong, inside presence that the Pirates need to balance their outside shooting. So far this season he is leading the team in scoring average (16.4 ppg), while making 58% of his shots from the field. He also averages a team-best 7.4 rebounds per game. He was named NWC Men's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week on December 6th for his efforts in wins over L&C and George Fox.

A Second Team All-NWC selection in 2011, Friedt made 59.9% of his shots from the field last year, which was third in the NWC, and 81.8% of his free throws (also 3rd in the conference) while averaging 12.8 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game (4th in the NWC). Friedt scored a career-high 27 points on January 8th vs. Puget Sound, then followed that up with 24 points and 14 points against the Loggers on February 4th.

Also, Friedt became only the second Academic All-American in Whitworth men's basketball history in 2011. He was selected to the Capital One Academic All-America® Men's Basketball College Division Third Team, the first Pirate chosen since Bryan Depew in 2004.

Belgian Burner: Idris Lasisi, a fourth-year transfer from North Idaho College, is making a big impact in his only season with the Pirates, averaging 15.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He also leads the team in steals (11).  Lasisi has scored a season-high 23 points twice this winter, first in Whitworth's win over George Fox on Dec. 3rd and again against Montana Tech on December 10th.

Instant Ignition: Jack Loofburrow continues to contribute in significant ways for the Pirates this season. He is averaging 8.9 points per game, but can heat up and score quickly as he demonstrated in the second half of the December 3rd win over George Fox (12 points scored after halftime). The 6'-7" senior also adds 5.6 rebounds per game.

Last season he earned honorable mention All-NWC honors, despite coming off of the bench in most games. He averaged 12.1 points per game while making 45.9% (5th in the NWC) of his three-point attempts. He torched PLU for eight three-pointers last February 5th to tie the previous school record for threes in a game and tie his own career high for points (31). Just as impressive was the rebounding with an average of 6.0 (12th in the NWC) rebounds per game and he averaged 0.82 blocks per contest (3rd in the NWC). He scored a career-high 31 points while making 13 of 14 shots from the floor in a win over Colorado College on December 29, 2010.

The Next Glue Guy: Successful Whitworth teams have always had the unsung hero who does all the little things that help the team succeed, but don't always show up in the box scores. In recent years that role has been filled by the likes of Clay Gebbers ('11), Calvin Jurich ('09), and Mike Larkin ('05). This season Mack Larkin (Jr., F, Anacortes, Wash.) has stepped into that role. Larkin is most often tasked with guarding the opponent's best offensive player. And he has added 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds with 13 assists and seven steals this season.

The Opponents: The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is ranked 16th in the latest D3hoops.com poll.  The Warhawks are 8-1 heading into this week's tournament, having lost for the first time in their last game – 79-77 at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  UWW is led by 6-6 senior forward Chris Davis, who averages 24.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.  He leads the team in field goal percentage (54%) and is also the team's leading three-point shooter.  Fellow forward Luke Knoble adds 11.1 points per game.  The Warhawks will play Willamette on Tuesday before taking on Whitworth in Wednesday's game.  The Pirates and Warkhawks have met once before – a 94-84 Whitworth win on December 29, 2009 in Spokane.  That is also the last time the Pirates have played a team from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (WIAC).

Southwestern University, from Georgetown, Texas, comes into the tournament with a 1-9 record.  The Pirates will play three games in the event at Trinity, all against Northwest Conference members, beginning with a game against 12th-ranked Puget Sound on Tuesday, against Pacific (Ore.) on Wednesday and finally against the Pirates on Thursday.  Senior forward Logan Hurley averages 14.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Michael Cantu adds 9.9 points per contest.  The two sets of Pirates have played once before in men's basketball, with Southwestern taking a 76-72 victory over Whitworth on November 27, 2004 in a game that was also played at Trinity University.  That was also the last time the Bucs played a game in the state of Texas.

Coming up Next Week: Whitworth will take a break for the Christmas holiday before returning to action on December 29th against Calvin College (Mich.) in a game that will be played at Mercer Island High School near Seattle – also know n as head coach Matt Logie's alma mater.

The Coach: Matt Logie is in his first season as head men's basketball coach at Whitworth. He previously worked eight seasons as an assistant coach at Lehigh University (Pa.) his alma-mater. He also spent a season as an assistant coach at Kent State. In 2010 Logie was named as the top Patriot League Assistant Coach in men's basketball in a Foxsports.com Coaches Poll and in 2011 he was recognized as one of the top 50 assistants in Mid-to-Low Major college basketball by Hoopscoop on-line magazine. Logie is originally from Mercer Island, Washington where he won a pair of state basketball championships while playing for his grandfather, Ed Pepple, a legend in Washington's high school ranks who won 952 games and four state titles in 49 years of coaching.