Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Basketball team couldn't hold a 16-point lead Saturday afternoon as they let Puget Sound come back to pull off the 89-85 victory to wrap up the Holiday Inn La Mirada Purple & Gold Poet Classic.
It was a tough loss for the Purple & Gold as they drop to 1-3 on the season.
Cal Hansen's jumper with :16 seconds left in regulation stood as the winning basket as UPS trailed by 16 with 8:30 remaining in the second half. Free throws down the stretch helped the Loggers get within single digits at 75-67 with 6:48 remaining and then a lay-up by Chaikin with 3:06 to play would tie things up at 82-82.
The Poets led 79-69 at the 5:48 mark after a pair of free throws from Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.). After that though, UPS would connect on back-to-back triples from Jimmy Wohrer that made it a four-point deficit. Nolan Black (Olympia, WA) added a quick layin to stop that mini-run but the Loggers would counter with a 10-1 run over the next two minutes that swung the momentum giving them a three point lead at 85-82.
Two possessions later, Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) ran off a screen on top of the key and connected with a three-pointer that tied things up with 1:20 to play. UPS came down on their next possession and missed a triple, which was hauled in by Journey Shank (Burbank, Calif.). Shank then took it coast to coast and drew a foul on the other end but couldn't convert the free throws setting up UPS with the eventual game-winning basket.
Trailing 87-85, Whittier drew up a play for Longmire from dead on but it was just off the mark as time expired.
Longmire helped the Poets in a big way in the second half pouring in 15 of his game high 21 points. He also added eight boards. Ahmad Young (Sunnyvale, Calif.) provided support with 20 points three assists and three points, going 6-for-7 from the field and Potthoff chipped in with 12 points with nine of them coming from three-point territory. He also had four boards, an assist and a steal.
Black was consistent inside adding eight points in the starting lineup with seven boards, going 4-of-6 from the field. He also had two blocks.
Whittier shot 48% from the field and 56% from three-point territory. They were outrebounded 35-33 and forced 16 turnovers and turned them into 25 points. They also received 32 points from their bench. The difference in the game came down to free throws where UPS was 19-for-21 (91%), while WC was 12-of-19 (63%).
Whittier remains in non-conference play this weekend, November 30 and December 1 as they travel to Colorado to take on Colorado College (5:00pm) and Johnson & Wales (3:00pm).