Whitman men pound Linfield, 102-53

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WALLA WALLA — Linfield didn’t plead for mercy Friday night against Northwest Conference foe Whitman.

The Wildcats pled no contest.

Whitman College jumped out to a 21-7 lead seven minutes into the first half and never looked back, beating Linfield 102-53 behind 60 points off the Missionary bench.

The win breaks a two-game skid for the Missionaries (10-6 overall, 4-3 NWC), who played at home for the first time since Dec. 29.

The loss was by far the most lopsided of the year for the struggling Wildcats, who fall to 3-13 overall and 2-5 in conference play.

Junior post Ben Eisenhardt and freshman wing Philip Chircu tied to lead Whitman with 14 points each.

The Missionaries played an aggressive pressure defense, pickpocketing Linfield 21 times and causing 25 Wildcat turnovers that gave Whitman a 69-to-47 advantage in shots from the field.

The turnovers led to easy transition baskets for Whitman, which hit 50.7 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Linfield managed just a 29.8-percent mark from the field.

Brandon Harris led the Wildcats with 10 points and was the only Linfield player to score in double digits.

Neither team was especially sharp in the opening minutes, but a pair of Matt Mounier free throws at the 7:44 mark of the first half gave Whitman a 30-9 lead and marked the moment the game was officially out of hand.

Linfield made a seven-point mini run highlighted by a Mitch Cokely trey to cut the lead to 16, 33-17, with 4:55 left in the first and prompt a Whitman timeout.

But back-to-back Ryan Gilkey layups in the post got Whitman out of its funk and the Missionaries cruised to the half up 48-22.

Whitman’s starters retook the court to open the second half and rampaged.

An Ignas Pavilonis 3-pointer with 16:42 left in the half capped a 12-2 Whitman run to open the half and pushed the Missionary lead to 36, 60-24.

After a pair of Eisenhardt free throws to give Whitman a 76-31 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the game, Whitman turned to its bench, which didn’t skip a beat in sprinting to the 102-53 final score.

Nine different Missionaries scored and four crossed into double figures: Eisenhardt, Chircu, Pavilonis with 11 and Mounier with 13.

Little-used post Evan Martin finished with nine points and led the team with five rebounds.

Both teams were heavily penalized, with Whitman picking up 24 personal fouls and Linfield 21.

Whitman outrebounded Linfield 40-to-38.

The Missionaries retake the court Saturday night against Willamette at 8 p.m.

WHITMAN 102, LINFIELD 53

LINFIELD (53) — Harris 2-7 6-6 10, Batiuk 1-7 2-2 5, Meikle 1-3 0-1 2, Russell 0-3 3-4 3, Paxton 1-5 0-4 2, Hendryx 0-0 4-4 4, Cantonwine 3-6 2-2 8, Pine 0-1 0-0 0, Walls 0-2 0-0 0, Cokley 1-1 0-0 3, Jurgens 3-7 1-2 8, Hurley 0-1 1-2 1, Pang 2-3 3-5 7, Dirks 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-37 22-32 53.

WHITMAN (102) — Mounier 4-8 3-3 13, Eisenhardt 6-10 2-2 14, Duckworth 2-4 0-0 4, Lippi 2-3 0-0 6, Raher 2-4 0-0 5, Gagliardi 0-0 0-0 0, Clough 1-3 4-4 6, Callahan 0-0 0-0 0, Pavilonis 4-8 0-0 11, Chircu 4-7 2-2 14, Tochi Oti 0-4 0-0 0, Durham 1-4 4-6 6, Outzen 1-2 0-0 2, Martin 3-4 3-5 9, Clark 1-3 0-0 3, Gilkey 4-5 1-3 9. Totals 35-69 19-25 102.

Halftime — Whitman 48-22. 3-point goals — Lin 3-11 (Batiuk, Cokley, Jurgens), Whi 13-33 (Mounier 2, Lippi 2, Raher, Pavilonis 3, Chircu 4, Clark). Total fouls — Lin 21, Whi 24. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounding — Lin 38 (Jurgens 5), Whi 40 (Martin 5). Turnovers — Lin 25, Whi 11. Assists — Lin 5 (Harris 2), Whi 20 (Duckworth 5).

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