SPOKANE, Wash. – Felix Friedt and Michael Taylor combined for 33 points and 15 rebounds to lead 10th-ranked Whitworth to a hard-fought 65-55 win over visiting Pacific University in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Friday night at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
Friedt posted his fifth straight double-double to help the Pirates improve to 12-2 overall and 5-0 in the NWC.
But the Boxers (8-6, 2-3) made Whitworth work hard for the victory. Pacific threw a variety of zones at the Bucs and Whitworth struggled to its lowest three-point shooting percentage (20%, 5-20) of the season.
Every Whitworth surge was followed by Pacific clawing back. In the first half the Pirates opened a 20-13 lead on an inside basket by Friedt, then built the advantage to 25-16 on a jumper by Wade Gebbers. But the Boxers got back to within 29-24 at halftime on a three-pointer by Colin Wester.
Pacific continued the momentum in the early going of the second half, pulling to within 29-28 when Wester stole the ball and fed Charles Mosley for a layup. The Pirates surged out to their first double-digit lead (47-37) on Gebbers' three-pointer. After the Boxers got back within 47-41, Whitworth opened a 59-45 lead on Friedt's jumper with 6:19 to play. But Pacific had one more run of its own. Trailing 61-47 with just over four minutes left, the Boxers got back to within 61-55 when Mosley scored inside with 1:29 to go. They had a chance to get even closer, but Taylor rebounded a missed three-pointer by David Berney and made both free throws to end the skid.
While Whitworth struggled from three-point range, the Pirates' pair of 6-8 posts led the way. Friedt finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while Taylor added 15 points and five boards in his third straight start. Gebbers was the only Pirate to hit a three-pointer, making 3-6 and finishing with 16 points.
Wester totaled a game-high 20 points for Pacific, while Mosley totaled 12 points. Dustin Bowser led the Boxers with eight rebounds.
Whitworth will host Linfield College on Saturday night, while Pacific travels to take on Whitman College in Walla Walla.