(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.
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March 17, 2018 Dallas' Levi Named D3hoops.com National Rookie of the Year
March 15, 2018 Gumbs Named to NABC All-America Third Team
March 14, 2018 SCAC Announces 2017-18 Winter All-Sportsmanship Teams
March 14, 2018 Schreiner's Gumbs Named to CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team
February 26, 2018 Schreiner to Face Whitman in the NCAA First Round
February 25, 2018 Schreiner Prevails in SCAC Men's Title Game
February 24, 2018 Schreiner Men Headed To SCAC Title Game With Victory Over Trinity
February 24, 2018 Centenary Advances to Championship Game For First Time Since 2015
February 23, 2018 Schreiner's Gumbs Named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team
February 23, 2018 Trinity Men Defeat Colorado College in SCAC Quarterfinal Action
February 23, 2018 Texas Lutheran Upsets Dallas In SCAC Men's Quarterfinal Play
February 19, 2018 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week 13
February 18, 2018 SCAC Announces 2018 Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament Brackets
February 14, 2018 University of St. Thomas Set to Join SCAC in 2019-20
February 12, 2018 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week 12
February 6, 2018 Centenary's Kirkendoll Named to D3Hoops.com Team of the Week
February 5, 2018 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week 11
January 29, 2018 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week 10
January 23, 2018 Austin College's Mercadel Named to D3Hoops.com Team of the Week
January 22, 2018 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week Nine
January 16, 2018 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week Eight
January 8, 2018 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week Seven
January 2, 2018 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week Six
December 18, 2017 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week Five
December 11, 2017 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week Four
December 4, 2017 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week Three
December 1, 2017 SCAC SPOTLIGHT: Janson Hightower, Southwestern University
November 27, 2017 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week Two
November 20, 2017 SCAC Men's Basketball Recap - Week One
November 14, 2017 SCAC Basketball Media Days
August 28, 2017 #SCAC8in8 Tour Returns in September
August 4, 2017 SCAC Announces 2017-18 Championship Venues