Men’s Basketball Welcomes Eisenhardt Back With Win

Sarah Anderegg

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The Whitman men’s basketball team started the second round of conference play off strong with a 78-69 win over Pacific University.  Along with the win, Whitman welcomed back senior forward Ben Eisenhardt in his first game since sustaining an injury in November 2013.

After a stagnant start to the game, the Missionaries got on the board with a layup from senior guard LuQuam Thompson at the 17-minute mark.  For about five minutes, the two teams traded buckets, until Whitman pulled away on a 9-0 run thanks to three pointers from sophomore wing Phil Chircu and junior forward Matt Mounier.  The Boxers were determined to stay in the game, and they went on a 14-2 run, cutting the score to 34-32 at the half.

Coming out of the half, Whitman responded by never letting Pacific within three points for the rest of the game. The Missionaries forced turnovers on three consecutive possessions that directly resulted in three perfect shots from beyond the arc, one from junior guard Dominic Lippi and two from sophomore Tochi Oti.

The fast pace of the game, triggered by Whitman’s high-intensity full-court press, forced the Boxers into 21 turnovers.  Although both teams shot well from the floor, Whitman at 43 percent and Pacific at 46 percent, the Missionaries put up 13 more shots that made the difference.

Oti continued his streak of strong performances, putting up a game high of 22 points on 8-11 shooting.  In just 16 minutes of play, Eisenhardt went 6-7 and had 17 points.  The boards were dominated by sophomore Evan Martin and Mounier, who grabbed seven rebounds a piece, and junior Clay Callahan, who dished out a game high of four assists.  The Boxers had a balanced offense with six players scoring in the double digits.

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