Clutch Foul Shooting Leads Whitworth to 58-57 Upset Over Willamette

SALEM- Bryan Depew hit two free throws with 9.7 seconds remaining and the Whitworth Pirates (14-5, 7-3 NWC) scored their last 11 points from the foul line as the Pirates beat a cold-shooting Willamette University men’s basketball team (13-6, 8-2 NWC), 58-57, in a Northwest Conference game Saturday night at the Cone Field House.

Depew had a team-high 22 points and six rebounds, and John Gebbers added 20, including five of six free throws in the final three minutes.

The clutch foul shooting spoiled a Bearcat comeback led by David Force (23 points, nine rebounds). Force scored 15 of the Bearcats final 19 points, including a lay-up and free throw with 4.7 seconds left to bring the Bearcats within one at 58-57.

John Olinger tipped the ensuing inbounds pass to Brennan Garrelts and the Bearcats had one final shot with three seconds left. But Olinger missed a jumper from the top of the key and the Pirates escaped with the victory.

The Bearcats suffered through a cold shooting night, hitting only 16 of 55 from the field for 30%. The Pirates shot 42% from the field and hit 17-22 free throws in the contest. The Bearcats were 22 of 30 from the foul line.

Rebounds were even at 35 each, The Pirates had 13 turnovers to the Bearcats’ 8. The usually hot-shooting Bearcats managed just three of 17 from beyond the arc. Whitworth was 3-12 in three-point shots.