Willamette Ends Whitworth Home Win Streak

Spokane, WA - Josh Erickson sank a pair of free throws with three seconds left to seal a 72-68 win for visiting Willamette University over Whitworth College in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Monday night.

Willamette(6-5 overall, 1-1 NWC) ended 23rd-ranked Whitworth's (8-3, 1-1) 16-game home winning streak. The Bearcats were also the last team to win at Whitworth and are the only visiting opponent to beat the Pirates during head coach Jim Hayford’s tenure.

Point guard David Force led the Bearcats' attack with game-highs of 29 points and 10 assists. He made 11 of 19 shots. Miles Sandgathe added 10 points and nine rebounds. The Bearcats dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Pirates 41-22.

Whitworth's All-American forward Bryan Depew scored 28 points, making 10 of 16 shots and all seven free throws. Jon Young added 17 points, including five three-pointers.

After Willamette took a 33-32 lead at halftime Whitworth seemed to take some control of the game early in the second half.Depew scored 10 of his points in the first seven minutes of the second half to help the Pirates take a 52-46 lead with 13:32 to play. But Willamette fought back to retake the lead 62-61 on a jumper by Brennan Garrelts.

A basket by Force put the Bearcats up 68-63 with three minutes to play. ButDepewscored on a three-point play to pull Whitworth within two points 30 seconds later.Willametteled 70-68 when Scott Bierlink lost control of the ball on a drive inside with 22 seconds left. But Force missed the front end of a one and one with 11 seconds left and Whitworth still had a chance. However Bierlink lost control of the ball again just after Whitworth's inbounds to turn the ball back over to the Bearcats. Whitworth was not able to get a foul until three seconds were left on the clock and Erickson, off of the bench, made both free throws.

Willamette returns home to face Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, while Whitworth heads west to play at Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

WILLAMETTE72, WHITWORTH 68

WILLAMETTE(6-5, 1-1 NWC)

Force, David 11-19 6-8 29; Sandgathe, Miles 4-9 2-3 10; Garrelts, Brennan

3-6 2-4 9; McDevitt, P.J. 3-4 0-0 9; Olinger, John 3-9 0-0 8; Erickson, Josh

1-7 2-2 5; Ralfs, Ryan 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-55 12-18 72.

WHITWORTH (8-3, 1-1 NWC)

Depew,Bryan10-16 7-7 28; Young, Jon 6-12 0-0 17; Williams,Bryan4-8 0-0

9; Gebbers, John 4-7 0-0 8; Bierlink, Scott 2-11 1-2 6; Larkin, Mike 0-1 0-0

0. Totals 26-55 8-9 68.


Willamette.................... 33 39 - 72

Whitworth..................... 32 36 - 68


3-point goals-Willamette 8-17 (McDevitt, P.J. 3-4; Olinger, John 2-4; Force,

David 1-4; Erickson, Josh 1-3; Garrelts, Brennan 1-1; Sandgathe, Miles 0-1),

Whitworth 8-20 (Young, Jon 5-11; Depew, Bryan 1-2; Williams,Bryan1-3;

Bierlink, Scott 1-4). Fouled out--Willamette-None, Whitworth-Young, Jon.

Rebounds-Willamette 41 (Sandgathe, Miles 9), Whitworth 22 (Depew,Bryan7).

Assists-Willamette 18 (Force, David 10), Whitworth 12 (Bierlink, Scott 4).

Total fouls-Willamette 16, Whitworth 17. A-1217