Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – In front of a crowd of almost 1500 strong inside of the Graham Athletic Center, the Whittier College Men's Basketball team sent off their three seniors with a 94-81 win over the University of Redlands on Dave Jacobs Court.
Whittier has now won two in a row and move to 10-13, 5-10 SCIAC.
Prior to the game, Jordan Bickerstaff (Aurora, CO), Chris Kapano (Los Alamitos, Calif.), and Richard Kaye (Irvine, Calif.) were recognized as they took part in their final regular home game of their collegiate career. Three of the Poet starters reached double figures with Kapano ending his career on a high note with 28 points on 6-11 shooting, with 15 of them coming from the charity stripe.
Redlands held an early lead 15-8 but saw Whittier hang around as Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) would add a couple free throws and a three-pointer with Kapano adding a jumper and layup.
With 11:49 to play, Anthony Martinez (Norwalk, Calif.) sparked a mini-run with a three-pointer while Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.) and Jordan Lingard (DU, Australia) would add layups tying things up at 25-25.
Back to back triples from Trevor Baker and Joey Sponheim would give UR back the lead but it wouldn't hold as 11 unanswered by the Purple & Gold, which included a hue three pointer from Louis Kurihara (Culver City, Calif.) and a couple jumpers from Jake Moore (Dallas, TX) and Kapano would put WC on top 36-31, while bringing the packed house to their feet.
A minute later Kurihara would again answer from deep and was followed right away by Potthoff who also added a triple moving the score to 44-35. With 2:55 to play Moore would tack on a couple more points with a layup but the big blow to the Bulldogs was Kurihara who would again remain hot from deep adding his third triple of the half sending WC into intermission with a 49-37 advantage.
In the second half, Redlands provided a threat early but again the deep threat by Whittier was too much to overcome as Moore and Martinez would go back to back from the corners midway through the half.
The Bulldogs made one final push with six in a row that pulled them within nine with 7:37 to play but Potthoff ended the run with a triple before an Eric Davis (Ventura, Calif.) two handed jam would again bring the Poet faithful to their feet.
With 3:30 to play, Kurihara would seal the win with five consecutive free throws, while Kapano would add 12 in a row over the final 2:12 that allowed the Poets to roll to the lopsided victory.
Kurihara finished with 23 points, while draining five three pointers and going 8-9 from the free throw line. Potthoff added 13 boards with five boards, while Moore added eight off the bench.