Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
TACOMA, WA – The Whittier College Men's Basketball team completed their road trip to the Pacific Northwest over the past few days as they took part in the PLU Thanksgiving Classic.
Over the break the Purple & Gold went 0-2 with losses to Pacific Lutheran (82-68) and Puget Sound (91-71) and now drop to 1-2 on the early season.
Pacific Lutheran; L, 82-68
A six minute stretch for PLU proved the difference Friday evening in Olson Gymnasium as they went on a 26-12 run that closed out the half, which gave them a 44-22 lead at the break. Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.) tried to keep the Poets close as he poured in 12 first half points on 5-of-9 shooting and would add another five in the second half en route to a 17 point effort along with three rebounds, an assist and two steals.
The Lutes outrebounded the Poets 54-36, which led to a 36-22 advantage in points in the paint.
The Poets remained close with the Lutes pulling within five at 15-10. Longmire started off the scoring with the Poets first seven points knocking down a triple and two jumpers and Chris Kapano (Los Alamitos, Calif.) tried to add some support with a jumper and a free throw.
Kapano finished with 15 points for the game that went with four boards and 6-of-13 shooting. Jacob Aruta (Stockton, Calif.) came off the bench and had his best game of his career in just 16 minutes of action where he added 14 points with five rebounds and a steal.
Puget Sound; L, 91-71
The second game of the classic the Poets took on the Loggers of Puget Sound slated to finish fourth within the Northwest Conference.
The Poets were in control early leading 19-16. Louis Kurihara (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) knocked down a three pointer and sophomore Ryan Henry (Fontana, Calif.) followed with a layup. Freshman Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) would then knock down two jumpers that gave WC a one point lead and Longmire answered with a layup and tre that again gave the Purple & Gold a slight advantage at 14-10.
Following two Logger free throws, Kurihara would come down on the other end and knock down another three-pointer that stretched the lead to five. Henry would add another two free throws that helped keep the Poets in front but it wouldn't last for long as Puget Sound would put together a late first half run in the final 8:23 as they would put together a 15-3 run before closing out the half edging Whittier 9-7 giving them a 40-29 lead at the half.
The Loggers wouldn't let up in the second half shooting 50% from the field. Despite Whittier shooting 40% themselves, they couldn't cut into the deficit as they would be outscored 51-42 before falling by double digits.
Longmire again went off finishing with 20 points going 4-of-9 from behind the arc that led Whittier. He also added five rebounds and an assist. Kurihara chipped in with 13 on 3-of-7 shooting with seven rebounds and Potthoff would add nine coupled with seven boards.
Whittier returns home to open up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play as they host Claremont-M-S on Friday, December 9 beginning at 7:00pm.