Whitworth Rallies Past Redlands in NCAA Tournament Opener - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Whitworth Rallies Past Redlands in NCAA Tournament Opener

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth used a 19-2 run in the second half to turnaround a double-digit deficit and came away with a 75-69 win over the University of Redlands in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament on Saturday night in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

The 6th-ranked Pirates (25-3), champions of the Northwest Conference, advance to play Emory University (20-6) in next Saturday's second round (location still to be announced).  The Bulldogs, champions of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, finish the season 22-6.

"What a great environment to play in, and the NCAA tournament is all about finding ways to advance and we did that tonight," said Whitworth head coach Matt Logie. 

Wade Gebbers and Colton McCargar scored a game-high 21 points apiece to lead Whitworth's comeback victory.  McCargar's jump shot with less than a minute to play gave the Pirates a 70-65 lead and the breathing room they would need down the stretch.

The first half flow went back and forth over the opening twelve minutes with eight ties and seven lead changes.  Whitworth appeared to take control when Dustin McConnell's three-pointer gave the Pirates a 33-27 lead with 5:38 to play.  But Redlands closed the half on a 14-2 run.  Ricky Peetz and Eric Radford hit big three-pointers during the burst and Matt Calhoun's layup gave the Bulldogs a 41-35 lead at the break.  Redlands hit 48% (13-27) of its shots in the first half, 50% (6-12) from three-point range.  Whitworth was 43% (12-28) from the field, 4-11 (36%) from beyond the arc.

The Pirates quickly closed to within 41-40 in the opening minutes of the second half following a Gebbers three-point play.  But Redlands responded.  Steven Williams converted and three-point play and Peetz drilled back to back three-pointers to stake the Bulldogs to their largest lead of the game at 57-47 with 13:18 to go. 

But that was when Whitworth went on its game-changing run.  McCargar, Gebbers and McConnell all hit three-points to pull the Pirates within 57-56 and another McConnell three-pointer gave the Bucs a 61-59 lead.  They would not trail again.  After McCargar converted a three-point play that gave Whitworth a 66-59 lead with 6:14 to go, Redlands scored six straight points, pulling within 66-65 on Alex Rudd's bucket.  The Bulldogs were within a single possession until McCargar hit his big pull-up jumper from 12 feet with 55 seconds left.  The Pirates made 5-6 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.

"Wade, Colton and Dustin made some huge shots and Zach Payne made a ton of winning plays," Logie said.

McConnell finished with 15 points and George Valle scored a dozen for Whitworth.  McConnell and McCargar had six rebounds each and Gebbers dished four assists.  The Pirates improved to 46% (13-28) in the second half, 50% (5-10) from beyond the arc.  

Redlands dropped to 39% (11-28) from the field in the second half, 23% (3-13) from three-point range.  Tristan Kirk led the Bulldogs with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Peetz and Rudd scored 14 points each.  Eric Radford led all players with 10 rebounds and Kirk did the same with six assists.

"Hats off to Redlands, we have great respect for their program and they are a really tough out," Logie concluded.  "I thought our guys really stepped up when their backs were against the wall and got defensive stops."

Whitworth's win over Redlands was the Pirates' second of the season. 

Whitworth, making its seventh NCAA tournament appearance in a row and eighth overall, has now advanced past the first round for the seventh straight time. 


  • College

    • WSU to host Colorado on Saturday

      Washington State is 6-1 for the first time since 2003 and enters the week ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press Top-25.

    • WSU men’s basketball to hold open practice Oct. 21

      Members of the men's basketball team will be available to sign autographs following the conclusion of practice. Those in attendance will also hear from fourth-year head coach, Ernie Kent

    • Former WSU receiver River Cracraft signs with Denver Broncos

      Cracraft ended his career at WSU with 218 receptions (No. 2 in school history behind Gabe Marks), 2,701 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in four seasons.

    • Press Pass Pullman: Week Seven

      On this week's episode of Press Pass Pullman, Mike Leach talks about what former Washington State A.D. Bill Moos meant to the University and what he hopes to see from the upcoming search to fill Moos' position. Leach also looks back on the many issues his team had against Cal, and looks ahead to a homecoming game against Colorado. In the Fan Question of the Week, he explains what he would name his boat (if he had one) and why.
    • Grizzly Sports Report, 10-16-17

      Wide Receiver Keenan Curran and Head Coach Bob Stitt join Shaun Rainey to talk about the big win over North Dakota and discuss the new Champions Center. 
    • Super 8 Plays of the Week 10/16

      Check out this week's top plays as we approach the end of the football regular season!

    • WSU names John Johnson interim director of athletics

      Johnson will assume the role of interim director effective Oct. 18 and will continue until a permanent director is named. He will not be a candidate for the permanent position.

    • Fan Fest kicks off 2017-18 season for Gonzaga

      Fans got their first look at the 2017-18 Zags with festivities on the court, including an intrasquad scrimmage. The Zags played a quartet of four-minute periods, with the second half running clock.

    • Whitworth escapes with a 17-14 win over Pacific Lutheran

      Whitworth overcame the absence of record-setting QB Ian Kolste with a total team effort to end a two-game losing streak.  The Pirates improved to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the NWC.

    • Vandals come up short against Appalachian State 23-20

      The Vandals got up, 20-0, early in the third quarter after a Sedrick Thomas interception on the opening play of the half gave Idaho excellent field position. The Mountaineers stormed back, scoring 23 unanswered points.