MCMINNVILLE, Ore.- A bounty of double-digit scorers carried Northwest Conference leader Whitworth to a 95-67 victory over the Linfield Wildcats Friday night at Ted Wilson Gymnasium. The streaking Pirates (19-3, 12-1 NWC) won their sixth consecutive game while the Wildcats (4-18, 2-11) fell for the fourth time in as many games.
Pirates Idris Lasisi and Colton McCarger each scored 15 points, and Mack Larkin and Jack Loofburrow both added 13, to lead a parade of seven players who scored in double figures. The Pirates controlled the game throughout and showed the dominance that has earned the defending champions the top spot in the Northwest Conference standings.
Linfield star Zach Anderson posted 24 points and five rebounds for the ‘Cats, and Andrew Batiuk added 12 points to go along with four boards. The Wildcats shot 49 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free-throw line.
For the game, the Pirates outrebounded the Wildcats 28-21 and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
The teams battled back and forth from the opening tip with three lead changes in the first three minutes. Whitworth began to mount a lead when Wade Gebbers hit back to back threes, and a three from Larkin pushed the spread to nine.
Linfield responded with seven straight points to cut the deficit to 13-11 early on. The Pirates were on fire early, making four shots from behind the arc in the first 10 minutes.
Whitworth established an eight-point advantage five minutes before the break. The ‘Cats battled through the final minutes of the half, but the Pirates pulled away thanks to a 3-point play from Felix Friedt, stretching their lead to 46-35 at the half.
Whitworth was aided by 12 first-half points from McCargar and 10 from Loofburrow off the bench.
Anderson had 13 points for the ‘Cats in the first stanza to go along with three rebounds. David Lee grabbed three rebounds to help Linfield keep pace with the Pirates on the backboards.
The Pirates shot a crisp 64 percent from behind the arc in the first half, complementing an overall shooting percentage of 63 percent from the field. Linfield made 4-of-11 from long range in the first 20 minutes and 7-of-8 at the line.
Whitworth opened the second period with an 8-2 run, building its lead to 54-38. The Pirates maintained a healthy 15-point edge before 3-pointers from Batiuk and Anderson cut the lead to 12. Michael Moreland added a layin to bring the ‘Cats within 10.
A 12-2 run by Whitworth midway through the second half put the game away. The Pirates dashed to a 24-point lead with 6:43 remaining and controlled the pace the rest of the way.
The Pirates remained hot from behind the arc, shooting 62 percent for the game, including five from McCarger.
AHEAD: Linfield takes on Whitman Saturday evening at Ted Wilson Gymnasium. Tip off is at a special time of 6 o’clock. The Missionaries got the better of Linfield in the first meeting, pulling out a hard-fought 67-65 victory at home in Walla Walla. The ‘Cats seek to end a four-game losing skid.
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