Just once in their careers, the seniors on the Pacific Lutheran men’s basketball team would like to knock off Whitworth.
And they had the 20th-ranked Pirates on the ropes Friday night in Spokane.
But Whitworth erased a deficit by going on a 14-0 run in the second half and held off the Lutes, 63-56, in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams.
George Valle had eight of the Pirates’ 14 points during the time in which PLU (2-6 overall, 0-1 NWC) went 91/2 minutes without scoring. Valle finished with a team-high 16 points for the Pirates (4-1, 1-0).
The Lutes were doomed by 13 turnovers, seven more than the Pirates made.
“We’ve got to learn somewhere along the line to win. It wasn’t tonight,” PLU coach Steve Dickerson said. “It was a great effort, but we had a lot of missed shots and turnovers at the wrong time.”
The Lutes held a 41-36 lead at the 14:19 mark before Whitworth went on its run.
PLU senior wing Cameron Schilling, a Decatur High graduate, had 22 points and nine rebounds – both game `highs.
At Whitman 111, Puget Sound 77: Jackson Clough led five Missionaries’ scorers in double figures with 22 points, and Whitman snapped a three-game skid against the Loggers.
Dan Cheledinas and Rex Nelson scored 12 points apiece for UPS.
At Whitman 66, Puget Sound 52: The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Loggers (6-2 overall, 0-1 NWC).
Senior post Sarah Stewart led the Loggers with nine points and six rebounds. Kelsey McKinnis had seven points, and Amanda Forshay added eight points.
Heather Johns and Sarah Anderegg each had 20 points for the Missionaries (6-1, 1-0).