by Josiah Van Wingerden|Media Editor
The eighth-ranked Whitworth Pirates came out on top vs. the Willamette Bearcats, 91-79, this weekend in Salem, Oregon. It was the Northwest Conference opener for the Pirates, who remained undefeated and are now tied for first place.
The Pirates never fell behind during the game. The team’s largest lead came after a three-pointer by senior Kenny Love, which made the score 40-18 with five minutes left in the first half. The Pirates eventually took a 50-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.
All five of the Whitworth starters scored in double figures in the game. Sophomore Kyle Roach tied his career high with 28 points, which led the Pirates. Roach also added seven rebounds. Senior Christian Jurlina scored a season-high 22 points and four dimes. Love added 13 points and seniors Drew Sears and Derek Isaak each scored 10 apiece.
Roach continued his successful season as he led all scorers in addition to being the leading rebounder of the game. For his efforts during the season, he was recently named “student athlete of the week” to close November.
The team shot 51 percent from the floor, including 6 for 16 from long range. Whitworth scored 33 points from the free throw line, where it shot 82 percent.
Historically, the Pirates won their 18th game in a row versus the Bearcats and 14th straight while on the road. Whitworth entered the season as the defending conference champion and will be looking to secure the team’s seventh Northwest Conference title in a row.
Whitworth will face Whitman on Tuesday in a winner-takes-first-place situation in the second Northwest Conference game for the Pirates.