PARKLAND, Wash. – Ben College poured in 29 points, 21 after halftime, to lead visiting Whitworth to an 88-70 win at Pacific Lutheran on Saturday night at Olson Auditorium.
Jared Christy added a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds for the 13th-ranked Pirates, who improved to 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the NWC. The Lutes dropped to 3-4, 0-2.
Whitworth led for most of the game and took its largest lead of the first half when Ben Bishop scored a layup off of an offensive rebound to increase the margin to 33-21. But PLU was able to pull back to within 39-32 at the break. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half and finished below 40% shooting from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Bishop and College were the Pirates' leading scorers at halftime with eight points each.
Whitworth built a 61-46 lead on a College jumper just over nine minutes into the second half before the Lutes cut the margin to 63-55 on a pair of Shay Curcuruto free throws two minutes later. PLU was still within 68-60 when Jordan Lester and College hit back-to-back three-pointers and the Pirates never led by less than double-digits the rest of the way. Whitworth eventually led by 20 points in the final minute of play.
"The game had more flow in the second half, we created tempo with some defensive stops and we passed the ball better," said head coach Matt Logie in reference to the Pirates stronger second 20 minutes. "We also hit the offense glass well."
Led by College, the Pirates improved their shooting to 47% (17-36) in the second period, 43% (6-14) from beyond the arc. College finished the game 11 of 18 from the floor, 6 of 11 from beyond the arc.
"Ben is one of the best shooters in the country and a guy who has put the work in to create shots and our guys are doing a nice job of finding him," Logie said.
Whitworth dominated the rebounding battle, finishing with a 47-26 edge on the boards. Christy's 13 rebounds are the most by a Pirate this season.
Bishop was the only other Whitworth player in double figures, with ten points. Kyle Roach added seven points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Dylan Foreman scored 16 points to lead PLU, while Leighton Kingma and Curcuruto added 13 points each. The Lutes finished the game making 39% (19-49) from the field.
Whitworth will return home to host Colorado College in a matinee game on Sunday, December 10th.