SPOKANE -- Felix Friedt powered inside for a career-high 20 points to lead No. 7 Whitworth to a 92-61 win over visiting UC Santa Cruz on Friday night a the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
Friedt, a 6-8 post who came into the game leading the Northwest Conference in field goal percentage (70%), made all seven of his shots from the floor and 6-7 free throws to help the Pirates improve to 7-0.
The Banana Slugs (4-7) made their first four shots from the floor to take an early 9-7 lead. But David Riley answered with a three-pointer, setting the stage for Whitworth to hit 7-13 from three-point range in the half. A Clay Gebbers three gave the Pirates a 24-16 lead and Jack Loofburrow's trey gave Whitworth its first double-digit lead (31-21) of the game. Loofburrow's tip in just before the halftime buzzer gave the Pirates a 48-34 lead at the break.
Whitworth opened the second half on a 14-2 run, including a pair of baskets by Friedt, to take a 62-36 lead just over six minutes into the period. The Pirates would not lead by less than 20 points the rest of the game. Freshman Robby Douglas drained a three-pointer with 9:03 to play to lift the margin to 77-45. The Pirates' largest margin was 33 points after Jacob Proctor scored inside on their second-to-last possession.
Whitworth shot 60% (18-30) as a team in the first half, 52% (31-60) for the game. The Pirates held a 33-28 rebounding edge and forced 16 UCSC turnovers while committing only four.
Michael Taylor added 18 points and four assists, while Gebbers finished with 14 points. Riley and Loofburrow scored 11 apiece. Friedt and Riley tied for the team lead with four rebounds each.
Ryan Matsuoka led the Slugs with 12 points. Greg Palmer added nine points and a team-high five rebounds off of the bench.
UCSC will take on Whittier on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. in the Fieldhouse. Then Whitworth will play Whittier at 1pm on Sunday afternoon.