Men's Basketball

Whittier falls short to Redlands 87-77

Whittier falls short to Redlands 87-77

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Basketball team looked to avenge their earlier loss in the season to the University of Redlands but couldn't stop the hot shooting of the Bulldogs Wednesday night as they pulled off the 87-77 victory. 

The Purple & Gold have dropped their last three and four of their last five as they move to 6-12, 3-6 SCIAC.  They went 0-2 against the Bulldogs on the season.

The game saw 10 ties and 15-lead changes, with the largest lead being 10 held by the Bulldogs on two different occasions.  Kyle Price (Rocklin, Calif.) was a mismatch inside for the Bulldogs finishing with a team high 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting along with six boards.  Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.) added 12 points and Kenyatta Louder (Compton, Calif.) and Ahmad Young (Sunnyvale, Calif.) each with 11.  Louder also posted 10 rebounds in 31 minutes of action.  Other notable performances was Journey Shank (Burbank, Calif.) at the point finishing with eight points, a pair of boards and four assists and Jacob Aruta (Stockton, Calif.) who added eight points on 3-of-4 shooting with a pair of assists.

The early stages of the game were back and forth.  Aruta helped with an early push putting together six straight, which included an and one and a three-pointer giving WC a 14-11 lead.  Three minutes later Price converted an and one pushing the score to 21-19, but again the lead wouldn't stick as UR rattled off eight unanswered that put them on top 27-21.  The Bulldogs held an eight-point lead at the 9:54 mark until Longmire went off with a layin and three-pointer that cut the lead back down to five.  This then spurred a run with Young and Price adding back to back lay-ups followed by freshman Chester Lewis (Budapest, Hungary) connecting from deep that put the Poets on top 35-33.  This would end a 12-0 run by the Purple & Gold.

Redlands and Whittier swapped three-pointers from Joey Sponheim and Louder that kept it a one-point game and then Joey Toyama (Pasadena, Calif.) would respond with his first points of the half coming on a deep three that made the score 41-39.  Soon after UR went back on top with another six straight but it was countered by Whittier ending the half with a 7-2 run of their own thanks to a Longmire jumper, Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) three-pointer and a Louder layup that gave WC a 49-48 advantage at the break.

In the second half Whittier was held to just 28 points and had no answer for the hot shooting of the Bulldogs who shot 46% from the field.  UR fought their back to take a five-point lead but again saw it diminished as Whittier would storm back to tie things up.  Michael hanna put together back to back three-pointers for the Bulldogs to put them on top 68-65 but saw Whittier's Young tack on one of his won that again tied up the game.  But after that Redlands would stretch their lead back to double digits with a 10-2 run, which proved crucial down the stretch.  Over the final three minutes Whittier was forced to foul to try and stay in the contest but UR was able to go 10-for-11 the rest of the way from the free-throw line that secured the road victory.                            

Whittier shot 46.2% from the field and 32.1% from behind the arc.  They held the edge on the glass 31-30 and picked up 36 points in the paint.  They were also at an 80% clip from the free-throw line and earned 31 points from the bench.      

Whittier returns to the court this Saturday, January 26 as they host Chapman University beginning at 7:00pm.