Schreiner Eliminated from NCAA Tournament by Nation's Top-Ranked Team

Schreiner Eliminated from NCAA Tournament by Nation's Top-Ranked Team

(Portions of this story courtesy of Whitman Athletics)

WALLA WALLA, Wash.
- Making their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, the Schreiner University men put up a gallant fight against Whitman College before dropping a 87-77 decision to the nation's top-ranked team Friday night.

After the Mountaineers (15-14) had chopped a 24-point deficit down to seven with 3:01 to play, Whiteman's Jacobs-Jones grabbed a key offensive rebound that he converted into a three-point play to end Schreiner's 19-1 run and effectively pushed the Blues into Saturday's second-round. 

The lead was 24 just inside the 10-minute mark after Whitman's Darne Duckett dished to Joey Hewitt for a 3-pointer and Duckett's seventh assist.

But led by SCAC Player-of-the-Year, Keenan Gumbs, one of five seniors on the Schreiner roster, the Mountaineers began attacking and converting, and stringing together stops -- and asserting their national credentials.

"We started making shots, and we only had 20 turnovers," Mountaineers head coach Connor Kuykendall said. "Normally, I'm upset with 20, but that's seven under what Whitman forces" on average.

"We didn't stop playing. We didn't stop competing." 

Whitman (27-1), the nation's top-ranked team, jumped out to a 46-34 halftime lead after shooting 48.7 percent from the field, including a blistering 52.9 percent (9-17) from three-point range. 

Gumbs finished with a game-high 26 points and also had 10 rebounds. Josh Bashford added 12 points off the bench and Blake Kelley finished with 10. Paul Wells had 11 rebounds.

The Blues advanced to a rematch of a 2016-17 regional against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (19-7), whose 17th consecutive victory came at the expense of No. 2 Whitworth (24-4). Whitman faces the Stags at 7 p.m. Saturday for a berth in the sectional round-of-16.

SCAC Basketball Media Days
November 14, 2017 SCAC Basketball Media Days