Whittier defense stifles Tigers; Roll to 65-46 victory
Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LOS ANGELES, Calif. –The Whittier College men's basketball team only needed two players to score in double figures to pull out the win 65-46 against the Tigers of Occidental College Saturday evening.
Whittier now improves to 10-4, 2-1 SCIAC, while Occidental drops to 7-7, 2-1 SCIAC.
SCIAC leading scorer Drew Menez who is averaging 19.2 ppg came out again to lead the Poets with 19 points on 9-of-17 shooting.
The Poets held the Tigers to only 24% shooting from the field and forced 22 turnovers which turned into 26 points and that proved to be the main factor in the Poet victory.
Senior Nathaniel Easterman again missed a double double as he recorded 12 rebounds to go along with nine points. Even though they were outrebounded for the game (48-42) the Poets' patience on the offensive side of the ball along with the kean eye of senior transfer Kelly Johnson who dished out a game high seven assists proved to be enough to pull out the 19 point victory.
Coming off of a big 17 point win over the Kingsmen of Cal Lutheran University in their SCIAC opener this past week, Whittier came out of the gate shots blazing as they went on an 11-0 run sparked by Preer's three pointer and jumper from the elbow to go along with Easterman's back to back lay ins inside of the paint.
Oxy did however get within one behind Conrad Liebowitz who tossed in a double double with 11 points and 11 boards until Menez went on a 5-0 run himself and extended the Poet lead. This would be all the Poets would need as they continued to maintain the 10 point lead through the half and into halftime leading 34-24.
Coming out of the break Whittier continued to pressure the ball and added their suffocating press on the Tigers and that ultimately led to them holding their opponent to 46 points the lowest opponent scoring total this season. They also went on a 7-2 run in the first four minutes of the second half and continued to pour on the offense as they got up by 18 with 12:13 remaining behind three point baskets from Jordan Ramos, Bo Rodriguez, Preer, and Brandon Thomas.
As the game came to a close, Whittier went on a 9-2 run to claim the 19 point victory and are poised to gain momentum from this win as they return next week to begin preparing to travel to the University of La Verne to take on the Leopards on Wednesday, January 18, beginning at 7:30pm.