Whitworth men’s basketball team takes the win against Sul Ross State at the home opener

By Carmel Ludeman, Staff Writer

Junior Jake Holtz (#23) shoots the basket over the top of defending Sul Ross Senior Trey Nelson in the Whitworth Field house. Spokane Wash. Nov. 17, 2022 | Ben Gallaway/ The Whitworthian

On Thurs, Nov 17, Whitworth’s men’s basketball team won against the Sul Ross State Lobos during Whitworth’s home opener,73-60.  

 With Whitworth’s Rowan Anderson scored the first 3-point basket. Sul Ross State scored 2-point basket seconds after.  

 Each team played tough defense, with the ball being passed between teams often. Whitworth scored another 2-point basket, making the score 5-2.  

 With the first 2-and-a-half minutes gone, Whitworth committed the first foul of the game, giving Sul Ross State the first free throw of the game, raising the score to 5-3. 

 After several minutes of keep-away, the Pirates made another 3-point shot, taking a 5-point lead. Whitworth quickly grew that gap with another 3-point basket,    

 Sul Ross State made a quick turn-around with their second basket of the game. Whitworth then matched them, scoring another basket and keeping up the lead. 

 Whitworth continued to further their lead with two more 3-point shots, leaving the score at 14-6. 

Coach Damion Jablonski was pleased with Whitworth’s playing and said, “Our guys did a really good job offensively overall…it was good growth from last week.”   

Sul Ross State scored a two-point goal before the timer ran out, but fouled immediately after, giving Whitworth a free throw. 

Both teams continued to fight for the ball. Whitworth committed another foul against Sul Ross State, who made the free throw, raising the score to 17-9. 

Both teams continued to score throughout the first half. At the end of the first half Whitworth held the lead with 34 points to Sul Ross State’s 28.   Coach Damion Jablonski said, “Their team (Sul Ross State) plays an offense that really makes you work, so our guys really had to battle for long defensive possessions.”   

When the second half started, Sul Ross State immediately got the ball and scored a three-point basket, raising the score to 34-31. Whitworth then made another basket and 

 continued this tread for another three minutes, making the score 43-31. Then Sul Ross State got the ball back and went on the offensive, leaving Whitworth’s defense scrambling. Sul Ross State was able to make one shot after another, making the score 43-36. 

Whitworth finally regained their defense in the middle of the second half on defense. Michael Smith, one of Whitworth’s point-guards, said, “There were some ups and downs. [We must] focus on the next play, honestly, and just do what we can to get the win.” 

In the second half, Whitworth shot their score from 43 to 62. Sul Ross State was able to score a few times, making the score 62-48. 

 In the last five minutes of the game, Whitworth and Sul Ross State fought for every shot. Sul Ross State went on a well-rounded offense, keeping the ball away from Whitworth players for the next two and a half minutes. Both teams then scored a 2-point-shot, raising the score to64-50. 

With three minutes left in the game, Whitworth controlled the ball and went into an aggressive offensive, upping the score to 70. Sul Ross State was also able to score a few times, making them at 54. 

In the final two minutes, Whitworth and Sul Ross both scored a few points 

With 0.34 left on the clock, Whitworth shot one last time and made it. The final score was 73-60. 

Smith said his favorite part of the game was “when the clock hit zero, getting that first win under the belt. [It was a] team effort, and I loved it.  

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