By Alex Blade
A No. 1 ranking and a new name in the record books highlighted the Whitworth men’s basketball team’s week. The Bucs proved that the first No. 1 ranking in school history was well deserved when they defeated Willamette University 115-67 on Friday and then came from behind to beat George Fox University 89-66 on Saturday. Friday’s win over the Bearcats was fueled by senior forward David Riley’s school record 10 three-pointers, which accounted for most of his game-high 33 points. Senior Michael Taylor added 28 points. Willamette never threatened the Pirates, as Whitworth held a commanding 35-11 lead midway through the first half. The Bearcats were led by Terrell Malley and Taylor Mounts, who both had 17 points.
Saturday’s victory was not so easy for the Whitworth men, as the Pirates were trailing 43-40 at the half. But the Bucs were a completely different team in the second half, and they played like the No. 1 team in the nation should.
Sparked by sophomore Wade Gebber’s 20 second-half points, the Bucs outscored the Bruins 49- 23, initiated by a 14-2 in the first three minutes of the half. Taylor led all scorers with 21 points, and junior Jack Loofburrow chipped in 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The two wins increase Whitworth’s nation-best record to 23-0, and the Bucs will close out their regular season with road games at Whitman University on Tuesday and at Pacific University on Saturday.