January 6, 2012

#11 Whitworth Survives Double OT at Pacific Lutheran

PARKLAND, Wash. – Felix Friedt hit a big three-pointer with 46 seconds to play in the second overtime to give visiting Whitworth the breathing room it needed to pull off a 103-94 double overtime victory over Pacific Lutheran in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Friday night at Olson Auditorium. 

Friedt's three, and his two free throws twenty seconds later, helped the 11th-ranked Pirates improve to 10-2 overall and 3-0 in the NWC.  The Lutes nearly ended a 12-game losing streak to Whitworth, but fell to 5-7, 2-1.

Whitworth shot s blistering 72% (18-25) in the first half, including 63% (5-8) from three-point range.  Michael Taylor, a senior making his first career start, made Whitworth's first three baskets but PLU opened with an 11-8 lead following a basket by James Conti.  Then the Pirates went on a 16-2 run to open up a 22-11 lead eight minutes into the game.  After the Lutes got within 29-26 on a three-pointer by Andrew Earnest, Whitworth went on another run to open its largest lead (41-29) of the half on a short jumper by Taylor with four minutes to go.  PLU was able to fight back to within 44-39 at halftime after a layup by Cameron Reister.

The Pirates never gave up the lead in the second half and appeared to have posted an insurmountable 78-65 lead with only 2:44 to play in the game.  But PLU went on a 20-7 run the rest of the way to force overtime.  James Conti drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to force the extra period.

Dustin McConnell hit a three-pointer to open overtime and scored a lay up to give Whitworth a 90-85 lead.  But once again the Lutes came back, tying the game 92-92 when Conti hit two free throws with 2.2 seconds to go.

After the teams exchanged baskets to open the second overtime, Whitworth closed the game on a 9-0 run.  McConnell hit two free throws with 2:29 to go, and then after both teams missed shots, Friedt hit his big three-pointer from the top of the key with 46 seconds left for a 99-94 lead.  After another Lute miss Friedt hit two free throws to essentially clinch the game with 25 seconds to play.

Whitworth shot 62.1% (36-58) in the game, 46% (11-24) from three-point range, and five Pirates hit double figures in scoring.  Taylor posted career highs of 19 points and eight rebounds.  His previous career high in points was eight set last season at Lewis & Clark.

Idris Lasisi led Whitworth with 20 points, while Wade Gebbers scored 19 points and dished seven assists.  Friedt finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds and McConnell finished with 13 points.

Conti scored a game-high 25 points and added seven assists to lead PLU, while Reister had 22 points.  Cameron Schilling scored 18 and Hoyt finished with 15 and led his team with eight rebounds.  The Lutes made 51% (34-67) of their shots, 52% (13-25) from three-point range. 

Whitworth will take on 16th-ranked Puget Sound (11-1, 3-0) in a first place battle on Saturday night at 6:00 pm.

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