WALLA WALLA, Wash. - The Lewis & Clark men's basketball team could not hold off the Whitman Missionaries on Saturday night, despite getting a season high 24 points from senior Dexter Pearce. The Missionaries came from behind to defeat the Pioneers 74-71.
The Pioneers fall to 13-8 on the season and 7-5 in Northwest Conference action. The Missionaries improve to 14-7 overall and 8-4 in the NWC. The loss drops the Pioneers to fourth in the conference standings, while the Missionaries move into a two-way tie for second in the NWC.
Pearce ended the game 6-of-9 from the field, while hitting 8-of-9 of his free-throws. James Hollins finished the game with 14 points, while Ross Erickson and Justin Leathers each knocked down 10 points.
Ben Eisenhardt led all players with 25 points. Josh Duckworth netted 11 points for the Missionaries.
The Pioneers cruised ahead to a 13-3 over the opening seven minutes, capping off the run with a dunk by Pearce. The team took its largest lead with 8:22 to go until halftime after back-to-back Pearce free-throws. Lewis & Clark maintained a double-digit lead heading into the locker at halftime.
Lewis & Clark kept Whitman at bay until the final six minutes of the game when the Missionaries tied the game at 66 all. An Eisenhardt free-throw gave the Missionaries the lead, which they would hold onto throughout the final four minutes of action.
Lewis & Clark returns to the court on Friday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. at Puget Sound.