Pecht Paces Pirates To Win Over Bearcats


SALEM, OR — Lance Pecht scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Whitworth Pirates handed the Willamette University men's basketball team its first home loss of the season, moving to within a game of the Bearcats with a 76-61 Northwest Conference victory Friday night at the Cone Field House.

Willamette falls a game behind UPS and sits in second place in the NWC. UPS defeated George Fox Friday night. Whitworth is now in third place.

John Olinger had 17 points to pace the Bearcats (13-6 overall, 9-2 NWC), but battled foul problems all night long. Jason Luchterhand added 14 points and nine rebounds.

The Pirates (14-6, 8-3 NWC) took a 36-28 half-time lead and parlayed that into a 13-point lead on George Tucker’s lay-up with just four minutes gone in the second half.

The Bearcats made several runs at the Pirates, but Whitworth, the only team to defeat Willamette in conference play this season, refused to wilt under the Bearcat pressure.

Willamette pulled to within five, 60-55 at the 5:00 minute mark, on a 7-0 run highlighted by four free throws from Brennan Garrelts and a 3-ball by Olinger. But Olinger committed his fourth foul just seconds later and the Pirates responded with seven straight points of their own on a lay-up from Pecht and George Tucker’s five straight points to ice the game.

Four Pirate players scored in double figures as they out-shot the Bearcats 44% to 38%

Tucker scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds before fouling oout. Bryan Willaism scored 12 points to go along with six boards and six assists. John Young scored 12 points.

The Bearcats, who have shot better than 50% every game during their recent seven-game win streak, were 5-19 from beyond the arc. Overall the Bearcats were 23-61 from the floor.

Whitworth committed only seven turnovers to 12 for Willamette.

The Bearcats play Whitman Saturday afternoon at the Cone Field house. Tip-off is 4 p.m.