Whitman Athletics

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Freshmen Ryan Gilkey and Josh Duckworth combined for 29 points as Whitman College topped No. 24 Lewis & Clark for the first time in five seasons, beating the Pioneers 80-70 Friday night in Sherwood Center.

Winning for the 10th time in 12 games this season, Whitman improved to 12-6 overall and 5-4 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark, which came to Walla Walla with an eight-game win streak, fell to 14-4 and 7-2.

Whitman seized the lead for good with 6:37 left in the first half when sophomore Ignas Pavilonis nailed a 3-pointer, breaking a 23-23 tie and triggering a 13-0 Missionary run. Attacking the hoop during the spurt, junior Brandon Shaw and senior Justin Artis drew fouls while scoring inside. Both made their free throws to complete three-point plays.

Lewis & Clark's PJ Taylor, who tallied 19 of his 31 points in the first 20 minutes, scored at the first-half buzzer to slice Whitman's lead at the break to 44-35.

The first minute of the second half brought 3-pointers from each team before Kyle Meeuwsen added another 3-point bomb for the visitors to draw Lewis & Clark within 50-44 with 18 minutes to go.Whitman shot its lead back to 60-50 before the Pioneers made a final charge, getting a trey from Taylor at the 9:50 mark to trim their deficit to 60-57. But two buckets from Duckworth and one each from Gilkey and sophomore Peter Clark stretched the Missionary lead to 68-59 with seven minutes left.

Inside of five minutes, Duckworth scored again and Gilkey completed another three-point play in the paint to make the lead 73-61 for Whitman. Buckets by Duckworth, Shaw and Pavilonis took more time off the clock, putting the Missionaries on top 79-68 with just 90 seconds remaining.

A turnover with 50 seconds left ended hope for a Lewis & Clark win.

Gilkey finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, his second double-double. Duckworth added 14 points for Whitman, which also got 13 points and seven rebounds from Shaw and 10 points and six boards from junior David Michaels. Artis and Pavilonis added nine points apiece for the Missionaries.

Whitman crushed the Pioneers on the backboards, winning the rebound battle 49-31. The big difference came on the offensive glass, where Gilkey grabbed seven of 21 Missionary rebounds. The Pioneers got their hands on just two offensive rebounds.

Whitman parlayed its work on the boards into 79 field goal attempts, which was 23 more than Lewis & Clark managed to launch. The Missionaries also had a good night at the free throw line, making 14 of 17 opportunities, and harried Lewis & Clark into 19 turnovers.

In addition to 31 points from Taylor, the Pioneers got 13 points and seven rebounds from Kelly Edwards and 11 points from Perconti.

Whitman, which lost in overtime at Lewis & Clark last season, last beat the Pioneers during the 2005-06 season.