Lasisi Leads Whitworth Past Willamette

SALEM, Ore. – Idris Lasisi scored 23 points and Felix Friedt posted his ninth double-double of the season to lead visiting Whitworth to an 83-69 win at Willamette in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Friday night at Cone Field House.

The 9th-ranked Pirates used a dominating night at the free throw line to improve to 14-3 overall and 7-1 in the NWC.  Whitworth went 32-36 (88.9%) from the charity stripe and won its seventh straight meeting with the Bearcats (2-13, 0-7).

Willamette jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead before Whitworth used a 9-2 run to take its first lead when Mack Larkin's jumper gave the Bucs a 9-7 lead.  From that point there were four ties and four lead changes until Whitworth grabbed a seven-point lead at the end of the half.  After Terrell Malley got the Bearcats within 36-35, Lasisi and Larkin hit a pair of three-pointers over the final 1:28 to give the Pirates a 42-35 lead at the break.

Whitworth scored the first four points of the second half to open its first double-digit lead of the game.  But Willamette fought back to pull within 47-46 on another three by Malley.  The Bearcats never retook a lead, however, as Lasisi answered with another three of his own. 

Leading 50-48 Whitworth steadily pulled away and took a 72-58 lead when Lasisi hit his third three of the game.  The Bearcats did pull back within nine points with a quick 5-0 spurt, but the Pirates were perfect at the free throw line over the final two minutes to pull away for the final margin.

Lasisi went 4-7 from three-point range and 9-10 from the free throw line for his second-highest single-game total of the season.  Friedt finished with 13 points by making 11-14 from the free throw line and grabbed 13 rebounds for his NWC-leading ninth double-double.

Wade Gebbers added 14 points and four assists, while Dustin McConnell, who was 8-8 from the free throw line, scored a dozen points. 

Whitworth outrebounded Willamette 43-28, including a 14-8 edge in offensive boards. 

Malley led the Bearcats with 19 points.  Ryan Meehan added 18 points, while Taylor Mounts had 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Whitworth will return to action next weekend with a second straight road trip to Oregon.  The Pirates will take on George Fox on Friday night, then battle Lewis & Clark on Saturday.