BUTTE, Mont. – Whitworth drilled nearly 60% of its shots from beyond the three-point line while rolling to a 90-75 win at Montana Tech in a non-conference men's basketball game on Wednesday night at the HPER Complex.
George Valle scored 23 points to lead the Pirates in scoring in only the third game of the freshman's young career and Dustin McConnell dished a career-high seven assists while starting at point guard in place of a resting Wade Gebbers.
"George and Dustin were extremely efficient tonight, they not only scored the ball but they created shots for others which led to a very strong overall team offensive performance," said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie.
The Pirates (2-1) jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead thanks to three baskets by Valle. After the Orediggers pulled within 9-6 on a basket by Adam Greger, Whitworth went on an 8-0 run to go up 17-6 after a three-pointer by Colton McCargar. McCargar nailed four threes in the first half to spark the Bucs to a 47-36 lead at the break. McCargar's three gave Whitworth a 47-33 lead with 20 seconds to go, but Travis Peevey hit a long three over a defender at the buzzer for Tech.
The Pirates stretched the lead to 63-43 just over four minutes into the second half on back to back three-pointer by Mack Larkin. Whitworth would keep the Orediggers at bay the rest of the way. Tech got back within 84-70 with two and a half minutes left thanks to three consecutive three-pointers by Peevey. But Robbie Douglas answered with a three of his own for the Pirates and Valle closed the game with Whitworth's final trey for a 90-70 advantage.
The Pirates hit 16 of 27 (59%) from beyond the arc. McCargar and Larkin made half of those 16 with four apiece.
Valle led four Whitworth players in double figures. He shot 9-12 from the floor as Whitworth made 61% (34-56) of its shots from the field. McConnell scored 15 points to go along with his seven assists. McCargar and Larkin each scored 12 points and Larkin led the Pirates with six rebounds.
"Tonight's victory was a credit to our guys trusting the system," Logie said. "We played extremely unselfish basketball, which led to very good shots. In addition, we had multiple guys come off the bench and give us good minutes which we need to continue in order for us to improve."
Greger scored 17 points to lead Montana Tech, while Peevey finished with 16 points. Bryan Bock had 12 points and six rebounds.
Whitworth will return home tonight and prepare to host UC Santa Cruz on Saturday night in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.