Pirate Men Set for NCAA Opener on Friday

Pirate Men Set for NCAA Opener on Friday

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth University men's basketball team will play in the NCAA Division III tournament for the 12th year in a row and the 13th time overall when the 2nd-ranked Pirates take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Friday night in a first round game at Whitman College.  The game will tip off at 5:30 pm 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 weekend's game.

Tickets prices for this weekend's games at Whitman:
Adults: $10
Seniors (65 & older): $5
Children (Ages 3-17): $5
Children (Age 2 or younger): Free of charge

Whitworth has been allotted 183 advanced-sale tickets for Friday night. Fans can purchase those tickets by calling 777-3224 or coming to Westminster Hall office 202 during regular business hours, by the end of business on Thursday.  Otherwise Sherwood Center doors open at 4:15 p.m. Friday and 5:45 p.m. Saturday. Ticketing tables will be labeled per each team.

NCAA Tournament Info: The NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament features a 64-team field with 43 automatic bids and 21 at-large spots.  Sixteen teams advance to next weekend March 9-10 at four on-campus sectional sites, and concludes March 16-17 with the semifinals and championship at Salem, Virginia.  Click here for the full NCAA Div. III bracket (interactive). 

The Pirates:  Whitworth won its 13th Northwest Conference tournament championship with a dramatic 91-88 win at Whitman in the conference tournament final on Saturday night.  NWC Player of the Year Kyle Roach hit a long three-pointer as time expired to lift the Pirates to the win.  The game featured 16 ties and 16 lead changes and each team rallied from a significant deficit during the course of the contest.  Ben College hit six three-pointers in the game and led all players with 24 points.  Roach finished with 23 points, while Garrett Hull had his second double-double in as many NWC tournament games with 15 points and 11 rebounds.  Jared Christy finished with eight rebounds, seven points and seven assists.  Isaiah Hernandez came off of the bench for seven points and three assists.  Whitworth shot 50% from the field (32-64) and 50% from the three-point line (13-26).  The win ended Whitman's 26-game winning streak this season and the Pirates' seven-game losing streak to the Blues.

The Bucs advanced in the NWC tournament with Thursday night's 97-79 semifinal victory over third-seeded Puget Sound.  The Bucs shot 49% from the floor while holding the Loggers to 39%, including only 23% (10-42) from three-point range.  Whitworth held a commanding edge in rebounding (53-35) and committed only 14 turnovers against the Puget Sound full-court press.  The win was Whitworth's 22nd in a row over Puget Sound.

The Opponents:  Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is back in the NCAA tournament for the 10th time under 20th-year head coach Ken Scalmanini (355-164).  Last season the Stags knocked off Whitworth 78-73 in the opening round of the NCAA Division III tournament before losing 79-73 at Whitman in a hard-fought second round contest. 

CMS is 19-7 overall, but rolled through the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference with a 15-1 record after becoming fully healthy in time for conference play.  The Stags stormed through the SCIAC tournament with an 83-72 semifinal win over Chapman and a dominating 86-62 win over Pomona-Pitzer in the championship game.

Michael Scarlett is the two-time SCIAC Player of the Year.  The 6-4 senior guard averages 18.9 points per game and makes 42% of his three-pointers.  Kendrick Morris, a 6-9 senior post, was a first team All-SCIAC honoree with averages of 13.9 points and 7.8 rebounds.  He makes 61% of his field goals.  Senior guard Scott Lynds adds 15.4 points per game as is a second team All-SCIAC honoree.  All three are veterans of 2017's NCAA tournament game.

The Other Half:  If Whitworth is able to advance past the first round, the Pirates would take on the winner of Friday's other game between top-ranked Whitman (26-1) and Schreiner University (15-13) on Saturday at 7:00 pm.

Whitman has gone wire-to-wire as the #1 team in the D3hoops.com top-25 poll during the regular season and the Blues remain #1 despite Saturday's loss to Whitworth.  Senior guard Tim Howell, a 2018 First Team All-NWC honoree and the 2017 NWC Player of the Year, scored 21 points for Whitman in the NWC championship game.  He averages 17.8 points per game this season.  Junior guard Joey Hewitt joined Howell on the first team and he leads the Blues in scoring average this year (17.9 ppg).  Junior wing Austin Butler, a second team selection, does everything for Whitman.  He makes 65% of his shots (8.3 ppg) and averages 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.9 blocks per contest.  Head coach Eric Bridgeland was named the 2018 NWC Coach of the Year and he is 194-77 in his 10th year at Whitman.  The Blues implement their pressing style of play throughout the game.  Defense most often leads to offense as Whitman leads the NWC in steals per game (15.8), blocked shots (4.2) and scoring average (99.8).

Schreiner University, from Kerrville, Texas, comes into the tournament with a 15-13 overall record, but the Mountaineers won the Southern Collegiate Athletics Conference regular season at 10-4 and defeated Centenary (La.) in the SCAC championship game 77-73.  Head coach Connor Kuykendall is the 2018 SCAC Coach of the Year after leading Schreiner to its first-ever NCAA Division III tournament appearance.  He is 52-51 in his fourth season.  Keenan Gumbs, a 6-4 senior guard, is the SCAC Player of the Year.  Senior forward Blake Kelly (6-7) is a second team All-SCAC honoree with averages of 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.  Senior point guard Luis Mancillas earned honorable mention all-conference after posting 5.3 points and 4.0 assists per contest.  

NCAA Tournament History: Whitworth is making its 12th consecutive NCAA Division III tournament appearance and 13th overall. The Pirates are 12-12 all-time in the NCAA DIII post-season.  They have advanced to four Division III sweet 16s since 2009, with an Elite 8 berth in 2011.  Four times the team that eliminated Whitworth has gone on to play in the national championship game (UMHB in 2013, Wooster in 2011, Washington Univ. in 2007 and Gustavus Adolphus in 2003).

- In 2017 the Bucs fell 78-73 in the first round to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in a game played in Walla Walla.

- In 2016 Whitworth received a first round bye and hosted Whitman in the second round.  The teams played a thriller, but the visiting Blues prevailed 88-86 on a last-second shot.

- In 2015 the Pirates went across the country to Atlanta, Georgia.  Whitworth defeated LaGrange (Ga.) 88-60 in the first round for its largest margin of victory ever in the NCAA tournament.  But the Pirates fell to host Emory 85-84 in the second round game.

- In 2014 Whitworth played in Richardson, Texas.  The Pirates defeated Trinity (Tex.) 75-73 in the first round before falling to host UT-Dallas 78-77 in overtime on a three-pointer at the buzzer.

- In 2013 the Pirates were able to host three games in the Division III tournament because of the unique nature of the event's format.  Whitworth defeated Redlands 75-69 in the first round, then rolled past Emory 86-67 in the second round.  The Bucs fell to eventual championship-game participant Mary Hardin-Baylor 71-63 in the sectional semifinal (round of 16).

- In 2012 the Pirates went to Belton, Texas where they defeated McMurry (Tex.) 90-79 in the first round and then topped Trinity (Texas) 64-53 in the second round.  Whitworth dropped a heart-breaking 74-71 overtime decision to Virginia Wesleyan in the section semifinals (Sweet 16) at Wisconsin-Whitewater.

- In 2011 Whitworth defeated Chapman 77-63 in the second round after receiving a first round bye.  The Pirates went to Wooster (OH) and defeated Marietta (OH) 93-77 in the round of 16 to reach their first-ever Elite Eight.  Wooster beat Whitworth 76-66 to reach the Div. III final four for the third time in that school's history.

- In 2010 Whitworth received a first round bye and defeated Chapman 77-56 in the second round before the Pirates fell to Eastern Mennonite 74-71 in the round of 16 at Guilford (N.C.).

- In 2009 the Pirates had to win at 3rd-ranked Puget Sound in the NWC tournament final just to make the NCAA field, then defeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the first round before losing back at Puget Sound in round two.

- In 2008 Whitworth defeated Occidental (Calif.) in the second round of the tournament before falling to Wheaton (Ill.) in the round of 16 at Hope (Mich.).

- In 2007 the Bucs went to St. Louis, Missouri and defeated DePauw (Ind.) in overtime in the first round before falling by two points to host Washington University in the second round.

- In 2003 the Pirates lost at eventual championship-game participant Gustavus Adolphus in the first round.

Prior to its history in the NCAA Division III tournament, Whitworth had a post-season history as a member of the NAIA. The Pirates played in the 1996 and 1998 NAIA Division II tournaments, hosted by Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho. In 1996 Whitworth advanced to the title game before losing in overtime to Albertson (now College of Idaho) College. In 1998 Whitworth lost on a last-second basket to eventual champion Bethel College (Ind.) in the quarterfinals. Prior to the splitting of the NAIA into divisions in 1992, the Pirates played in the NAIA tournament in Kansas City five times. Whitworth advanced to the quarterfinals in 1952 and then suffered first-round losses in 1954, 1955, 1961 and 1991.

All-NWC Recognition: Northwest Conference coaches selected Kyle Roach as the 2018 Northwest Conference Player of the Year.  The junior G/F averaged 20.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game during the NWC schedule.  He was a second team honoree last season.

Jared Christy earned second team All-NWC recognition for the second straight season.  He averaged 13.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in conference play.  Ben College (16.3 ppg) and Garrett Hull (11.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.8 spg) received honorable mention.

NWC Tournament History: The 2018 NWC tournament was the 22nd conference tournament since the NWC (then the NCIC) first began a league playoff in 1994.  This was Whitworth's 21st appearance, four ahead of Lewis & Clark for the conference's all-time lead. The Pirates are 26-8 all-time in the league playoffs. Saturday night was Whitworth's 16th appearance in the championship game, including the last 15 straight and the Pirates have won 13 times. The league did not hold a tournament in 1999, 2004 and 2005. The only season the Bucs did not qualify is 2000.

Not the record:  Kyle Roach's 45 points vs. Whitman on February 6th was the second-most points in school history.  The Whitworth single-game record is 51 points set by Rod McDonald against Redlands in 1966.  McDonald is the second-leading scorer in school history with 1,807 points from 1964-67.  A second-team NAIA All-American, the Seattle Supersonics took McDonald in the ninth round of the NBA draft.  McDonald served two years in the U.S. Army, then played three years for the Utah Stars of the ABA (1971-73).  He was inducted into the Whitworth Heritage Gallery Hall of Fame in 2000.

High Point Production:  The 111 points Whitworth scored in the January 27th 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:  After Saturday's win at #1-ranked Whitman, Whitworth moved up to 2nd in the most recent D3hoops.com top-25 poll (Feb. 26th).  The Pirates had been 4th for three weeks in a row.  Whitworth has appeared in 149 regular season D3hoops.com polls and have been ranked in 48 regular season polls in a row, currently the longest streak in Division III.   

Team Captains: The members of the Whitworth basketball team and coaching staff have voted Kyle Roach, Ben Bishop and Jordan Lester as captains for the 2017-18 season. 

Baker's Dozen:  With its win at George Fox on February 9th, Whitworth extended its school record for consecutive seasons with at least 20 victories to 13 in a row in 2017-18.  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), with 21, has a longer 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 315-57 (.847), an amazing run of success matched by few other college teams at any level.  Within the Northwest Conference, Whitworth has won 146 of its last 158 (.924).

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 160-16 (.909) 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 79-15 (.840) away from home, 61-12 (.836) in true road games.

The Main Man:  Kyle Roach, the only returnee from Whitworth's starting lineup last season, is the 2017-18 NWC Player of the Year despite being the primary focus of most opponents' defensive efforts.  Roach is averaging 18.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists this season and he hit the game-winning three-pointer in the Pirates' NWC tournament championship victory.  He scored a career-high 45 points on February 6th vs. #1-ranked Whitman, one game after he had 39 points in the Pirates' win at Lewis & Clark on February 3rd.  He has been selected as the NWC Player of the Week twice in 2017-18 – on January 8th and February 5th.  Roach recently became the 28th player in Whitworth history to surpass 1,000 career points and he now has 1,129 in his career. 

Last season 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).  He earned second team All-NWC recognition and 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 has picked up where he left off last season.  He is making 44.4% of his shots from three-point range, including a 9-13 effort against Gallaudet on November 17th and a 6-10 night in the NWC tournament final at Whitman.  College is second the team in scoring average (16.4 ppg) this season.  He scored a career-high 31 points in a win over Gallaudet on November 17th.  College is an honorable mention All-NWC selection in 2018.

College finished second in the Northwest Conference in three-point field goal percentage as a freshman 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 at PLU 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 earned his second consecutive second team All-NWC honor this year.  He is averaging 12.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.  He led the Northwest Conference in double-doubles (10).  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.

Stepping Up:  Garrett Hull became Whitworth's starting point guard on December 29, 2017 after an injury to Jordan Lester.  Since then Hull's impact on the Pirates' season has steadily increased and he received 2018 honorable mention All-NWC consideration.  He scored a career-high 24 points in Whitworth's win at George Fox on February 9th and he posted back-to-back double-doubles in the NWC tournament.  He leads Whitworth in steals per game (2.2) and adds 10.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest.  Hull came to Whitworth after playing two seasons for the Community Colleges of Spokane.

Bishop's Move:  Ben Bishop is in his first season as Whitworth's starting post player.  He can finish effectively around the basket and ranks second in the NWC in overall field goal percentage (62.6).  Bishop is averaging 8.7 points per game and scored a career-high 18 points on November 24th against North Central (Ill.) and matched it on February 9th at George Fox.

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.

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.