by James Silberman
In the opening round of the NCAA tournament, the men’s basketball team squeaked by Trinity 75-73.
Whitworth got off to a fast start due to four 3-pointers to take a 22-13 lead. However soon after, the gap closed and the game remained close the rest of the way.
Trinity’s Zach Lambert would finish the first half with eight points in the final four minutes including a jumper with just seconds left to give the Tigers a 36-35 lead at the break.
The Pirates would retake the lead to begin the second half with a 7-2 run aided by a 3-pointer from senior guard Colton McCargar. McCargar sat out much of the first half while in foul trouble.
However, Whitworth was not able to pull away from the Tigers by more than five. Lambert would at one point score 10 consecutive points for the Tigers, giving his team a 65-64 lead with 3:39 left in the game.
But a layup from junior forward Adam Wilks and another 3-pointer from McCargar would give the Pirates the lead back for good as they ended the Tiger’s season despite a heroic 36 point effort from Lambert.
Senior point guard Dustin McConell led the Pirates with 15 points and four assists. Freshman guard Kenny Love also scored 15 on 6-9 shooting while freshman forward Christian Jurlina added 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.
The win sets up a matchup of two ranked teams as the 12th ranked Pirates take on 16th ranked Texas-Dallas tonight in Dallas at 5 p.m.
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