PARKLAND, Wash. – Taylor Farnsworth’s best game of the season led visiting Whitworth to a 70-58 win at Pacific Lutheran in Northwest Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday night at Olson Auditorium.
The 21st-ranked Pirates improved to 17-4 overall and 11-1 in the NWC with their seventh consecutive win and 18th win in a row over the Lutes (7-14, 4-8 NWC).
Farnsworth surpassed season-highs with 18 points, 13 rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists.
“Taylor carried us on the defensive end and, at times, on the offensive end tonight,” said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie. “It was his best game of the season and something we’ve know he’s been capable of since coming off of off-season shoulder surgery.”
Whitworth jumped to a quick 8-2 lead before PLU rallied to go up 10-8 on a jumper by Terrell Williams. The Bucs retook control and went up 20-13 on a layup by Farnsworth and then 31-28 on a jumper by Christian Jurlina. But the Lutes scored the final five points of the first half, including a three by Arvid Isaksen, to pull within 31-28 at the break.
Farnsworth scored inside five minutes into the second half to stretch Whitworth’s lead to 46-37. But PLU answered with a 10-2 run to pull within 48-47 with just over 10 minutes to play. Dustin McConnell, who scored a game-high 23 points, ended the run with a three-pointer that turned the momentum back in Whitworth’s favor a final time.
Leading 58-51 with just over five minutes to play, the Pirates scored their final 12 points from the free throw line, going 12-12 at the stripe. McConnell, who began the game by missing three of his first four free throws, made eight in a row down the stretch. Farnsworth was also 4-4 in the final minutes.
“Any time you can get two wins on the road you have to be pleased,” Logie said of the Pirates’ Tacoma sweep. “These are two good teams who play extremely hard.”
No other Pirate besides McConnell and Farnsworth hit double figures in scoring. Whitworth finished the game 24-52 (46%) from the field, 5-16 (31%) from three-point range. The Bucs also gained a 35-29 edge in rebounding.
Bryce Miller and Brandon Lester led PLU with 12 points each. Kai Hoyt had ten points off of the bench. Miller led the Lutes with nine rebounds.
Whitworth returns to action next Friday night, hosting Linfield at 8:00 pm.