Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
DAYTONA, Fla.- The Whittier College Men's Basketball team wrapped up the Mauro Panaggio Tournament Monday holding off St. Joseph's (ME) 84-79 to finish 1-1 over the two days.
Whittier has now won two of their last three improving to 3-5 on the season.
The Purple & Gold rallied from a 37-33 deficit at the break and then a nine-point (45-36) disadvantage two minutes into the second sparked by a 10-3 run, which spanned three minutes. During the run, Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.) added six points and Victor Nwaba (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) combined for the other four, which deadlocked the game at 48-48.
The game remained tied at 53 minutes later but that was soon broken as the Monks went on a 6-0 run with 9:47 to play. The teams proceeded to swap the lead seven times over the next eight minutes but a jumper from junior Louis Kurihara (Culver City, Calif.) at the 1:43 mark lifted the Poets to a 76-75 edge, which proved to be the final push WC needed as Eric Davis (Ventura, Calif.) went a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe, over the closing :25 seconds that secured the win.
The key stat on the evening came from the Poets defensive unit as they forced 15 SJC turnovers, turning them into 25 points. Nwaba led all scorers with 23 points and nine boards. Reggie Dixon (Oxnard, Calif.) came off the bench to add 12 points with five rebounds and Davis finished with eight points all coming from the free-throw line to go with seven boards, six assists, a steal and a block.
Whittier shot 37% for the game with a 30% clip from behind the arc. They proved tough inside outrebounding the Monks 48-42 with 24 points coming in the paint, while limiting their turnovers to a mere nine, a season low.
Whittier returns to the court this Thursday, December 21 as they get back into conference competition with Caltech beginning at 3:00pm.