SPOKANE, Wash. – Colton McCargar came off of the bench to score a career high 18 points, leading 20th-ranked Whitworth to a 78-45 win over visiting Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Saturday night.
The Pirates improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the NWC by holding an opponent under 50 points for the second time in three games. The Loggers dropped to 2-5, 0-2.
"This was our best overall defensive effort in terms of putting both halves together," said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie. "I thought our defensive intensity was there from the beginning whether our shots were going in or not."
Whitworth held Puget Sound to 27% (17-62) shooting from the field, including 18% (4-22) from three-point range. The Pirates also finished with a 43-34 edge on the boards.
"I was pleased with our rebounding tonight," Logie said. "It was something we talked about heading into the game."
Mack Larkin's three-point play gave Whitworth its largest lead of the first half at 29-14 with 5:35 to go. But Puget Sound rallied to pull within 34-25 at halftime after Derek Jobe knocked down a mid-range jumper with 25 seconds to go, then hit a half-court shot at the buzzer.
Riggs Yarbro scored the first four points of the second half to get the Loggers within 35-29, but the Whitworth defense held Puget Sound scoreless over the next six-plus minutes. McCargar's three-pointer stretched Whitworth's lead to 45-29 with 14:31 to play and the Pirates would steadily pull away over the rest of the game. A three by Hank Aldous increased the lead to 57-35 and a final three by Lucas Peterson with seven seconds left gave the Bucs their largest lead and the final margin.
McCargar hit 8-13 from the floor for his career-high night. He had 13 of his points in the first half to help get the Pirates going. Dustin McConnell finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while George Valle added 11 points. Whitworth finished the game 47% (25-53) from the floor, 40% (8-20) from three-point range.
"Colton gave us a great spark," Logie said. "It was great to see him knock some shots down and get into a rhythm. Once he gets going he is a hard guy to turn off."
Jobe led Puget Sound with 12 points off of the bench. Yarbro finished with nine points and Matt Reid led the Loggers with five rebounds.
Whitworth will return to action next Saturday at Occidental College in Los Angeles.