McMINNVILLE, Ore. - A great defensive effort and flawless execution on the offensive end proved to be the recipe for success for No. 10 Whitworth Saturday night at Ted Wilson Gymnasium, as the Pirates blew out Linfield 90-57.
Linfield (3-2, 1-1 NWC) opened up the game 3-of-20 from the floor, before finishing the half with only five field goals and 20.8 percent clip from the field. After a Sergio Rosario jumper at the 16:48 mark cut the Whitworth (6-0, 2-0 NWC) lead to 6-4, the Pirates responded with a 33-10 run to close the half.
The ‘Cats had no answer for Mike Taylor, who shredded Linfield for 14 points in the first half. Despite shooting only 34.4 percent from the floor, the Pirates built their lead to as many as 25.
Keeping Whitworth off the offensive boards proved to be a problem for the ‘Cats during the first half, as the Pirates tallied seven offensive rebounds during the first 10 minutes of play. They finished with nine for the half, on their way to a 39-14 lead going into intermission.
Whitworth’s physical presence inside resulted in multiple trips to the free throw line. The Pirates converted 14-of-16 attempts from the charity stripe, while the Wildcats went just 3-of-6 from the line during the first half.
Whitworth continued to cruise in the second half, building its lead to 69-33 on a David Riley 3-pointer with 9:07 remaining.
Shots started to fall for the ‘Cats in the second half, as Linfield finished the game shooting 37.5 percent. K.C. Wiser was the lone factor for the Wildcats, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Where the Pirates dominated the game most was at the free throw line. Whitworth made 36-of-46 free throws on the night, good for 78.3 percent. Linfield made 14-of-20 attempts.
The Pirates also outrebounded the Wildcats 40-27, including 14 offensive boards.
Taylor led the way with a game-high 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Felix Friedt scored 15 points while Riley added 14 in the win.
NEXT: Linfield returns to action Friday for an 8 p.m. home game against visiting Simpson.
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