Kunke Moves within One Assist of Tying Willamette's Career Record
SPOKANE, WASH. -- Whitworth University, ranked #1 in this week's D3hoops.com Top 25, defeated Willamette University, 115-69, at the Whitworth Fieldhouse on Friday, Feb. 11 to remain undefeated at 22-0 overall, 13-0 in the Northwest Conference. The Pirates shot 52.7% from the field (39 of 74) and committed just nine turnovers. Willamette fell to 6-16 on the season, 3-10 in the NWC.
David Riley led Whitworth with 33 points, including 10 of 19 on three-pointers. He set a new school record for the Pirates with his 10 three-pointers, breaking the old single-game record of eight, which he held along with current teammate Jack Loofburrow.
Mike Taylor added 28 points for Whitworth. Felix Friedt scored 19 points and hauled down a game-high 13 rebounds for the Pirates.
With the win, Whitworth clinched outright possession of the NWC regular season title. It is Whitworth's fourth NWC championship in the last five years.
Willamette was paced by Terrell Malley (So., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) and Taylor Mounts (Jr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School), with each player tossing in 17 points. Ryan Meehan (Jr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) contributed 11 points and led the Bearcats with three 3-pointers.
Robbie Kunke (Sr., G, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) of Willamette earned four assists during the game, giving him 501 in his career. He needs one assist to tie the Willamette career record of 502, set by Rob Cantonwine from 1979-82.
Sean Dart (So., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) returned to action for the Bearcats after missing five games with a foot injury. In Friday's game, he scored three points on 1 of 4 shooting, with two rebounds and two fouls in 16 minutes played.
The Pirates built a big early lead and continued to pull away from the Bearcats. Whitworth claimed a 25-5 advantage just over seven minutes into the game and owned a 61-38 lead at the intermission. The Pirates sank four 3-pointers during their game-opening surge and finished the night 16 of 38 from behind the arc.
Riley registered 19 of his points and six of his 3-pointers in the first half. Taylor led Whitworth at the break with 20 points and Friedt followed with 13.
The Bearcats opened the second half with an 8-3 run to cut the lead to 64-46, but Willamette was unable to continue the rally. Whitworth countered with a 17-3 outburst that extended the lead to 81-49 with 13:28 remaining.
The Bearcats shot 36.5% on field goals (23 of 63), made 9 of 27 three-pointers and sank 14 of 20 free throws (70.0%). Willamette committed 19 turnovers. Against Whitworth, Kunke led the Bearcats with six rebounds, while Cody Pastorino (So., G, Glenn, CA/Willows HS) topped Willamette with five assists.
Whitworth converted 21 of 29 free throws for 72.4%. The Pirates controlled the glass with 52 rebounds, while Willamette grabbed 30 boards.
Willamette will battle Whitman College on Saturday, Feb. 12. Game time in Walla Walla, Wash., is set for 8 p.m. (PST).
Willamette University 69