SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University made over 60% of its shots from the floor to run away with a 105-51 win over visiting California Lutheran in a non-conference men's basketball game on Thursday night.
Whitworth (3-0) made its first five shots of the game to grab an 11-2 lead. CLU (0-1) fought back to within 20-16 on a three-pointer by Palmer Chaplin. But that's as close as the visitors would get. A Kea Vargas layup gave the Pirates their first double digit advantage (31-20), and a Garrett Paxton three-pointer stretched the margin to 46-26. Whitworth led 53-29 at the break. The Bucs hit 57.6% (19-33) of their shots from the field and held CLU to 32.3% (10-31). Whitworth had a 21-14 edge in rebounding.
The Pirates were even hotter in the second half, making 69% (20-29) from the floor by beating the press for easy baskets. Ben College drained a three-pointer for a 67-34 lead five minutes into the half and Sam Lees made it 77-36 with a basket three minutes later. The lead reached 50 points on Reed Brown's basket with over five minutes to play.
College led Whitworth in scoring for the third straight game with 22 points. Lees finished with 12, while Isaiah Hernandez and Paxton scored 11 apiece. Fourteen of the 16 Pirates who played in the game scored points and the team had 27 assists on 39 made shots. Jordan Lester led the Bucs in assists (8) and rebounds (7). Whitworth finished the game with a 41-28 edge in rebounding.
Chaplin led CLU with 13 points and was the only one from his team to reach double figures. CLU finished the game with a team shooting percentage of 28.1 (18-64).
Whitworth will host 15th-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) on Saturday at 7:00 pm.