ORANGE, Calif. – Finishing the game on a 9-2 run, 11th-ranked Whitworth survived a scare from upset minded Chapman on Tuesday night, winning 67-62 at the Hutton Sports Center.
Dustin McConnell scored six of the final nine points and Colton McCargar nailed the final go-ahead three-pointer for the Pirates (7-1) after the Panthers (4-4) took their last lead of the game 60-58 with 3:36 to play.
"Dustin made some huge shots in the paint in the last four minutes," said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie. "And then Colton stepped up in crunch time with a big-time three."
The score was tied 12 times and there were 16 lead changes before Whitworth pulled out its sixth straight win in the series after rallying from a seven-point deficit late in the first half.
"Tonight's win was a huge character builder for our team," Logie said. "Chapman played extremely well and I thought our guys fought through adversity time and time again."
Taylor Farnsworth scored the first six points of the game for the Pirates, on the way to a career-high 14-point night. After Wade Gebbers hit a jumper to tie the game at 27-27 with just under five minutes to play in the half, Chapman went on a 7-0 run to claim its largest lead in the game. Jordon Young opened the spurt with a three-pointer from the corner. But Whitworth closed to within 35-34 at halftime after McCargar hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Chapman took the first of three five-point leads in the the second half at 46-41 on Blake Kubly's three-pointer. The Panthers still led 52-47 before the Pirates went up 56-52 on a 9-0 run which included a three-pointer by Gebbers. But Chapman fought back to go up 60-58 on a short put-back jumper by Young.
McConnell scored back to back baskets to put Whitworth up 62-60. With the game tied 62-62, McCargar hit a long three to give the Pirates the lead for the final time with 1:10 to play. Then at the other end of the floor Mack Larkin blocked a shot by Taylor Hamasaki and Whitworth took over possession with 32 seconds left. Ten seconds later McConnell hit the clinching free throws and a final three-point attempt by Chapman was no good.
Farnsworth led Whitworth with his 14 points and six rebounds.
"Farnsworth provided a huge inside presence with his rebounding and scoring around the basket," Logie said.
Gebbers finished with 13 points and McCargar had 12 points off of the bench. Whitworth shot 48.3% (28-58) in the game and 33% (5-15) from three-point range. While the Pirates' rebounding edge was slight (27-26), the Bucs used 12 offensive boards and 15 Chapman turnovers to take 17 more shots than the Panthers.
Colin Zavrsnick scored 22 points for Chapman and Hamasaki added 19 for the Panthers, who hit 56% (23-41) from the field and 56% (5-9) from three-point range.
Whitworth will take on Redlands on Wednesday at 4:00 pm in a game played at Chapman. Redlands (7-2) defeated NWC-member Willamette 91-86 in overtime tonight.