Missionaries Regain Second Place With Win Over Pioneers

Cole Anderson

Despite heading into halftime down three points, the Whitman men’s basketball team cruised to a 76-59 victory over the Lewis & Clark Pioneers on Friday, Jan. 24. The win moves the Missionaries to 11-6 overall and 6-2 in the Northwest Conference, putting them in second place at the halfway point of the season.

In front of a packed house, the Missionaries looked inspired to bounce back from their close loss to rival Whitworth University, and this win was quite the team effort. Five players scored 10 points or more. Two of those scorers were non-starters, and one was senior guard LuQuam Thompson, who was out all last season with injury and who truly found his stride with a solid performance on both ends of the court.

Junior forward Matt Mounier led the scoring with 15 points and worked hard defensively, tallying eight rebounds for the Missionaries, which helped the team regain the lead early in the second half and further extend it as the half progressed.

The difference in this game was consistent shooting from the Missionaries, which was a welcome change from the game on Tuesday, Jan. 21, when a 60 percent discrepancy favoring Whitworth in three-point accuracy through the second half made the difference in the game. Whitman shot 42.1 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three-point range on Friday, which is consistent with their season averages so far in those categories, 43.7 percent and 38.3 percent, respectively.

The Missionaries have two more games to finish this home stretch, the next of which is against Pacific University, who handed Whitman its first loss in conference play this season. The game will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 at the Sherwood Athletic Center.

The women’s basketball team also played on Friday night, defeating Lewis & Clark 78-61. This moves the women’s team to 17-0 overall and 8-0 in NWC play.