CWU Men's Basketball Loses Season Opener to Warner Pacific - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU Men's Basketball Loses Season Opener to Warner Pacific

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. (Nov. 11) -- Four Central Washington University players scored in double figures, and sophomore Kevin Davis (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer HS) finished with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, but the Wildcat men's basketball team lost to visiting Warner Pacific College, 92-89, in its 2011-12 regular-season opener on Friday night at Nicholson Pavilion.

The Wildcats (0-1) suffered their second consecutive series loss to the Knights, who compete as a member of the NAIA and the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Warner Pacific counted Friday night's game as an exhibition, so the result and statistics do not count towards their record.

In a game between two evenly-matched teams, there were five ties and five lead changes, with just one double-digit lead -- a 10-point margin for the host Wildcats with 14:13 remaining. Following that lead, however, Warner Pacific reeled off nine straight tallies as part of an 18-5 run that saw the Knights take the lead with 10:20 left and never trail again. CWU closed to within one with 1:44 remaining, but a missed free throw at that juncture kept the Wildcats from tying the game and WPC scored the next six points to go up by seven.

Free throw shooting and turnovers proved to be the difference in Friday's game, as CWU had 22 turnovers -- its highest total in nearly three years. The Wildcats also shot just 61.3 percent at the free throw line (19 of 31), while being outscored by 12 points at the charity stripe, where Warner Pacific made 31 of 38 (81.6 percent).

Davis, in his first official game in a Wildcat uniform, made 6 of 10 field goal attempts including four slam dunks. He also blocked four shots in 33 minutes of action. Senior guard Toussaint Tyler (Kent, Wash./Kentwood HS) tied for the game's top scoring honors with 19 points, and added a game-high seven assists, but was also charged with eight of Central Washington's turnovers. Junior Brandon Magee (Spanaway, Wash./Bethel HS) provided the Wildcats with an offensive spark off the bench, scoring 18 points, while junior Jordan Starr (Yakima, Wash./A.C. Davis HS) added 12 to complete Central's quartet of double-figure scorers. CWU did finish the game shooting 48.5 percent from the field, making 32 of 66 shots.

Warner Pacific had five players reach the double-digit mark in scoring, led by the 19 points of Nick Schultens. William Sharp and Stephen Harris added 15 apiece, while Sean Gaines and Doug Thomas scored 12 each. Gaines had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Central Washington will have a tough challenge awaiting them in their next game, as pre-season third-ranked Brigham Young University-Hawai'i will be the Wildcats' opponent next Friday (Nov. 18) at the Sodexo GNAC/PacWest Challenge in Seattle. The Wildcats and Seasiders will play at 3 p.m., and CWU will also face Hawai'i Pacific University at the tournament on Saturday, Nov. 19.
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