NEWBERG, Ore. – Wade Gebbers scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half to help 11th-ranked Whitworth pull away for an 85-66 win over George Fox in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Friday night at the Wheeler Sports Center.
The Pirates improved to 15-3 overall and 8-1 in the NWC while winning their 14th consecutive game against the Bruins. Whitworth also prevented George Fox (9-9, 6-3) from moving into a tie for first place in the NWC standings. The Bucs also now have a two-game lead over Whitman following the Missionaries' 81-74 loss at Lewis & Clark on Friday night.
Gebbers' strong play helped the Pirates outscore the Bruins 58-41 in the second half. Whitworth hit 11-16 from three-point range in the second half and Gebbers was 5-8 from beyond the arc. Gebbers also dished five assists.
Felix Friedt added 14 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Idris Lasisi not only scored 15 points for the Bucs, he held Mike Taylor – the Bruin's leading scorer – to only three points in the game.
George Fox hung right with Whitworth in the first period as the teams traded leads throughout the half. Dustin McConnell's layup gave the Pirates an 11-7 lead just over eight minutes into the game. But the Bruins rallied to take a 16-13 lead on a basket by Cam Rier. Colton McCargar and Jack Loofburrow hit back to back three-pointers to put Whitworth back ahead by three. Spencer Bolte's three gave GFU its final lead of the half (23-21) before Whitworth went into the locker room with a 27-25 advantage. The Bucs hit 50% (11-22) from the field in the first half, 33% (4-12) from three-point range.
Gebbers made two free throws, hit a three and then converted a three-point play on three consecutive possessions to give Whitworth a 47-35 lead with 12:40 to play. Anthony Sanchez got the Bruins back within nine with a three-pointer, but Gebbers was fouled and hit two more free throws and Loofburrow followed with his second three-pointer of the game for a 52-38 Whitworth lead. The Pirates never led by less than double-digits the rest of the way. Austin Ehlo's three-pointer gave Whitworth its largest lead of the game (83-56).
Whitworth finished the game 57% (29-51) from the field, 54% (15-28) from three-point range. The Pirates outrebounded the Bruins 28-23.
Sean Atkins and Anthony Sanchez led George Fox with 14 points each. Bolte had a dozen points off of the bench.
Whitworth will conclude its trip to Oregon with a game at Lewis & Clark on Saturday at 6:00 p.m.