Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Basketball team proved a tough test once again at home as they nearly pulled off a big win over Pacific (OR) University 79-71 inside of the Graham Athletic Center.
Whittier now drops to 1-4, 0-1 SCIAC, while Pacific improves to 6-2.
The Purple & Gold who were coming off a tight loss to undefeated Claremont-M-S in their conference opener again battled the high powered Boxers of Pacific University who were coming off big wins over UC Santa Cruz and Pacific Lutheran.
The long ball hurt the Poets Sunday afternoon as the Boxers used double digit three-pointers to pull off the eight-point victory.
Whittier was led by senior Chris Kapano (Los Alamitos, Calif.) who finished with a game high 18 points who led four players in double figures. He was joined by Eric Davis and Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.), who each added 13, while Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) chipped in with 11.
Seven different players made a three-pointer for Pacific with five players reaching double digit scoring efforts. J.b. Ewell led the Boxers with 16 and seven boards, while Michael Joseph and Nate Olowo each registered 15 and 13, each respectively.
Pacific started the game off with a 13-4 run but that lead would not last as the Purple & Gold would storm back with their own spurt outscoring the Boxers 19-3 ignited by a triple and two free throws from Potthoff, five straight from Kapano, and then 10 of the next 12 points coming off the hot hand of Davis who added another two three-pointers.
This gave WC a 33-27 advantage with 5:46 to play in the first half, but again another run would be put together by Pacific as they would go into the half putting together a 15-2 run that shifted the momentum.
In the second half, Whittier cut the deficit to two on a couple occasions early following a tre from Louis Kurihara (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and back to back lay-ups from Richard Kaye (Irvine, Calif.) but again Pacific wound up putting together an ensuing 18-2 run over the next five minutes that put the Boxers up 20, 66-46.
Over the next seven minutes, the Poets didn't go away quietly and failed to concede and eventually cut the deficit to three, 70-67 following their own 15-2 run thanks to Longmire going off for seven. But again the Boxers had a reply with a three pointer from J.J. Spitler, while knocking down 6 of 10 free throws, which sealed the victory.
Whittier returns to the road tomorrow, Tuesday, December 20 as they travel to Santa Cruz, Calif. to take on the Banana Slugs beginning at 3:00pm.