WOOSTER, Ohio – Ben College scored a career-high 41 points but it was not enough to prevent 14th-ranked Whitworth from falling to 24th-ranked Wooster 87-82 on Sunday evening at the Scots' E.M. "Mose" Hole / Kiwanis Classic.
College surpassed his previous career high of 37 points, set last season against D'Youville College.
The Pirates (6-3) could not hold onto a halftime lead for the second day in a row at the tournament. Wooster (9-1) rallied from a 44-40 deficit at the break.
Whitworth trailed 18-13 in the early going and still was behind 28-24 midway through the half. But College scored eight consecutive points, including a pair of long three-pointers, for a 32-28 Pirate lead. Garrett Paxton's three-pointer gave the Bucs their largest lead of the game (44-38) late in the opening half.
The game's turning point occurred seven minutes into the second half. Liam Fitzgerald hit a three-pointer to give Whitworth a 62-57 lead. Wooster responded with a 12-2 run to go ahead 69-64 with just over eight minutes to play. Dontae Williams and Keonn Scott scored five points apiece in that run.
Scott made a pair of free throws to stretch the Scots' lead to 80-73 with 4:32 to go. College answered with his final three-pointer to keep Whitworth within striking distance. Trailing 85-82 in the final minute, the Pirates got a defensive stop for an opportunity to tie the game. But College's long three-point attempt from the top of the key came up short with nine seconds left.
College made 11 of 21 from the field, 6-11 from three-point range and 13-15 at the free throw line. His 41 points are the second most in the 57-year history of the tournament and his 61 points over the weekend is the fourth-highest total in tournament history. He was named to the All-Tournament team.
Scott scored 29 points, dished six assists and earned tournament MVP for Wooster. Williams added 20 points and nine rebounds and Danyon Hempy finished with 18 points. The Scots shot 55% (32-58) from the field, a season-high by a Whitworth opponent this year. Wooster finished with a 32-29 edge in rebounding.
The Pirates will open Northwest Conference play at home on Friday and Saturday against Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound, respectively.