SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth University men's basketball team will travel back to the state of Oregon this weekend for games at Pacific University (Friday) and Lewis & Clark College (Saturday). Friday's game is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm, while Saturday is expected to tip off at 6:00 pm. Both of Whitworth's games are the second halves of NWC doubleheaders with the women and will be broadcast live in Spokane on KSBN 1230 am and on the internet at KSBN.net.
Watch the Whitworth men's basketball schedule for other live links to this week's games.
The Pirates: Whitworth, ranked 5th in this week's D3hoops.com poll, improved to 17-2 overall and 9-1 in the NWC following home victories over Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound last weekend.
The Pirates overcame a 20-point deficit to record the largest comeback victory in head coach Matt Logie's tenure at Whitworth during Friday night's 81-69 victory over Pacific Lutheran. The Bucs trailed 38-18 late in the first half against the Lutes, but outscored PLU 63-31 the rest of the way. Whitworth shot 70% from the floor in the second half and held PLU to 42%. Kyle Roach scored 18 points while Jared Christy had 13 points and seven rebounds. Garrett Hull added 11 points and seven assists. Ben College also scored 11 to give the Pirates four players in double figures. Whitworth earned its 27th consecutive win in the series between the two schools.
The Pirates posted season-highs for points, field goal percentage and three-point percentage in Saturday night's 111-97 win over Puget Sound on Alumni Night in the Fieldhouse. Whitworth shot 56.5% from the floor and had success breaking the Loggers' press for easy baskets. The Bucs hit 12-23 shots from beyond the arc (52%). Jared Christy had a monster game for Whitworth with 26 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two steals. It was his ninth double-double of the season. Ben College made 6 of 9 from three point range and finished with 22 points. Garrett Hull had 16 points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists. The win was the Pirates' 21st in a row over the Loggers.
The Opponents: Pacific University is 11-8 overall and 5-5 in the NWC heading into the weekend. The Boxers are tied for fourth place in the NWC standings and in the thick of the hunt for a conference tournament spot. Last week Pacific earned a dramatic double overtime win over Lewis & Clark (100-92) on Tuesday night, but lost 83-48 at Linfield on Friday night. The Boxers lead the league in team free throw percentage (77.5%) and rank second in the conference in rebounds per game (40.5). Junior guard Brevin Brown, a transfer from Everett CC, is averaging 16.1 points per game and was the NWC Player of the Week on January 23rd. Senior forward Nate Olowo adds 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Whitworth defeated Pacific 83-71 at home on January 6th. Kyle Roach scored 25 points and Jared Christy had 15 in the Pirates' victory.
Lewis & Clark College is 7-12 overall and 3-7 in the NWC heading into its Friday night match-up with Whitman College. The Pioneers bounced back from their double overtime loss at Pacific last Tuesday night to defeat Willamette 62-57 on Saturday, avenging an early-season loss to the Bearcats. L&C continues to lead the NWC in fewest turnovers per game (13.2) and the Pioneers are second in the NWC in three-pointers made per contest (10.2). Sophomore 6-5 guard Andrew Vickers is a match-up issue for any team with averages of 15.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Sophomore forward Niko Bricker adds 12.3 points per contest and makes 51% of his shots. Whitworth built a 21-point lead over L&C during the teams' first match up on January 5th in Spokane. But L&C narrowed the margin to 98-91 by the end of the game. Kyle Roach and Ben College scored 28 points each for the Pirates.
Hitting the Oregon Trail: Whitworth will make three trips to Oregon over the span of four weekends this season. The Pirates went to Oregon on January 19th and 20th and defeated Willamette and Linfield. The Bucs head back to Oregon this weekend for games against Pacific and Lewis & Clark. They complete the Oregon circuit with a game at George Fox on February 9th. Whitworth has won its last 17 NWC games in the state.
High Point Production: The 111 points Whitworth scored in Saturday's win over Puget Sound were the most points for the Pirates in one game since a 112-100 double-overtime win over Whitman on January 8, 2013. It was the most Whitworth points in a regulation game since a 115-69 win over Willamette on Feb. 11, 2011. The school record for points in a game is 123 points vs. Northwest College on November 17, 1987.
National Ranking: Whitworth moved down one spot to 5th in the current D3hoops.com top-25 poll (1/30/18). The Pirates have appeared in 145 regular season D3hoops.com polls and currently have been ranked in 44 regular season polls in a row, the second-longest streak in Division III behind Marietta (Ohio).
20 By 12: Whitworth extended its school record for consecutive seasons with at least 20 victories to 12 in a row in 2016-17. Prior to this current streak, the most 20-win seasons in a row the Pirates had ever had was two (on three different occasions). Only Wooster (OH), now with 20, has a longer current run of consecutive 20-win seasons in NCAA Division III men's basketball.
More Than A Decade of Dominance: Since the beginning of the 2005-06 season (12+ years) the Pirates are 308-56 (.846), an amazing run of success matched by few other college teams at any level. Within the Northwest Conference, Whitworth has won 141 of its last 152 (.928).
Home-Sweet-Home: Whitworth has been stellar in the Whitworth Fieldhouse since the 1990's. During the decade of the 1990s and 2000's Whitworth won more than 84% of its home games. But since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, the Bucs are 157-15 (.913) at home.
The Pirates have had two home-court winning streaks of more than 40 games since 1990. A 41-game home court winning streak from early 2009 until December of 2011 was the second-longest in Pirate history. The school record for consecutive home victories is 43, beginning during the 1994-95 season and ending during the 1997-98 season.
Road Warriors: As good as Whitworth is at home, the Pirates have been almost as good away from the Whitworth Fieldhouse during Matt Logie's tenure as head coach. Since the start of the 11-12 season, Whitworth is 75-15 (.833) away from home, 57-12 (.826) in true road games.
The Main Man: Kyle Roach, the only returnee from Whitworth's starting lineup in 2016-17, earned second team All-Northwest Conference recognition last season. He is the primary focus of most opponents' defensive efforts in 2017-18. Despite that focus, Roach is averaging 17.5 points (4th in the NWC), 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists this season. He scored a career-high 32 points in the Pirates' win over George Fox on January 13th.
Roach finished fourth in the NWC in scoring average (15.9 ppg) while making 54.1% of his field goals (5th in the NWC) and 43.3% of his three pointers (6th in the NWC) last season. Roach also finished second on the team in rebounding (5.2 rpg). Roach was the league's men's basketball Student-Athlete of the Week twice (Nov. 28, Dec. 26) in 2016-17.
Bull's Eye Ben: Ben College is picking up where he left off last season. He is making nearly 43% of his shots from three-point range (6th in the NWC), including a 9-13 effort against Gallaudet on November 17th. College is second the team in scoring average (16.7 ppg) so far this season, which also ranks sixth in the NWC.
College finished second in the Northwest Conference in three-point field goal percentage in 2016-17, making 46.5% of his shots from beyond the arc. He was 40-86 from long distance and his best game came on December 9th against Covenant College when he went 6-8 from three-point range and scored 28 points.
Coming Home: Jared Christy came into this season with prior experience playing college games in the Whitworth Fieldhouse, but it was previously all for Pacific Lutheran. Christy earned second team All-NWC recognition as a sophomore in 2016-17 after leading the league in rebounding by a wide margin (11.2 rpg). He added 13.8 points per contest. Christy is from Spokane and played high school basketball at Ferris. He averages 12.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He leads the Northwest Conference in rebounding and in double-doubles (9). His 17 rebounds in the win over George Fox on January 13th are the most for any Whitworth player since Nate Montgomery had 18 boards in a win at Puget Sound on Feb. 28, 2009.
Got the Point?: Jordan Lester made an immediate impact for the Pirates as point guard over the first ten game. The junior transfer from Robert Morris (Pa.) was injured in the final ten seconds of the Pirates' loss to Wheaton College and will miss the remainder of the season. He averaged 15.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, leading the league in assists at that point. He missed a triple-double in Whitworth's win over Gallaudet on November 17 by a single assist.
On the Air Again: Whitworth's games are once again carried live this season on KSBN 1230am in Spokane. The relationship between Pirate athletics and KSBN goes back to 1994, a span of 24 years. Bud Nameck is in his second season as the voice of Whitworth basketball. The co-host of 920 KXLY radio's Morning News, Nameck has more than 30 years of experience calling college basketball at Gonzaga University and Washington State.
Coming up next: Whitworth will host Whitman College on Tuesday, Feb. 6th in a regionally-televised game before traveling to Oregon on Friday, February 9th.
The Coach: Matt Logie leads NCAA Division III in winning percentage by active coaches with at least five years of experience. Logie heads into the 2017-18 season with a record of 149-25 and a winning percentage of .856 over his first six seasons at Whitworth. He also accomplished what no other coach had ever done in NCAA Division III history – win 100 games in his first four seasons as a head coach. He is a three-time NWC Coach of the Year honoree, earning the award in 2012, 2014 and 2015. He is 97-11 against the NWC, counting each of the last six conference tournaments. Logie has guided several players to post-season honors in his four seasons, including Third Team NABC All-America recognition for George Valle (2016), Kenny Love (2015) and Dustin McConnell (2014). Logie has been a finalist for the Glen Robinson Division III men's basketball Coach of the Year award twice in his career (2016 and 2013)
Logie previously worked eight seasons as an assistant coach at Lehigh University (Pa.), his alma-mater. He also spent a season as an assistant coach at Kent State. In 2010 Logie was named as the top Patriot League Assistant Coach in men's basketball in a Foxsports.com Coaches Poll and in 2011 he was recognized as one of the top 50 assistants in Mid-to-Low Major college basketball by Hoopscoop on-line magazine. Logie is originally from Mercer Island, Washington where he won a pair of state basketball championships while playing for his grandfather, Ed Pepple, a legend in Washington's high school ranks who won 952 games and four state titles in 49 years of coaching.