Women's Basketball Hosts First NWC Tourney Contest Against Whitworth
Walla Walla, Wash. -- The Whitman Women's basketball team hosts its first Northwest Conference tournament game in program history this Thursday night when it plays Whitworth in the semi-finals at 6 pm, Sherwood Center.
Tiffani Traver, Jr.
The Lady Whits just completed a regular season in which they set a new program record for wins at 20 - 4 and finished second in conference with a sterling 13 - 3 mark, winning 9 of their last 10 to secure the first round home game.
The hallmark of the Missionaries all season has been consistent offense, strong defense, and dominance on the boards. Whitman finished the regular season with the best rebounding margin in the conference (+13.4) which far outdistanced the closest team, George Fox, at +5.9. Post Meghan White (Jr., Huntington Beach, CA) leads the charge, averaging 8.1 rebounds per game -- fifth best in the NWC.
The Missionaries and Whitworth split their two meetings this season, the Pirates victorious in Spokane, 59 - 56, in the first meeting, and the Whits taking the second game in Walla Walla, 81 - 62, as guard Tiffani Traver (Jr., Oregon City, OR) scored a career-high 21 (16 in the 2nd half). Kayla Johnson poured in a game-high 22 for the Bucs.
The Pirates (19 - 6, 12 - 4) finished in a tie for third with George Fox, gaining the third seed by virtue of the tiebreaker. After falling to 3 - 3 in conference in a loss to George Fox, Whitworth finished the season with a flurry, rattling off 9 wins in their last 10 games -- their only loss coming at Whitman.
The Whitman defense
The Bucs rely heavily on the three-ball. Guard Kc McConnell ranks first in the NWC in 3-point percentage (51.8 %) and her backcourt mate Lauren Picha is fourth at 37 %. Whitman's offense offers the opposite, relying on high percentage shots, resulting from clean half-court sets or points off turnovers. The Missionaries shot a conference-best 43.2 % from the floor, Whitworth 38.7 %. Conversely, the Pirates converted 35.7 % from beyond the arc, the Whits 27.7 %.
Whitman's Sarah Anderegg (Jr., Redmond, WA) ranks third in conference scoring at 13.5 ppg and is a major reason why the team leads the conference in FG %, ranking first at 53.7 %.
On the defensive end, The Missionaries rank first in scoring defense, allowing only 51.1 points per contest. Whitworth ranks fifth at 59.0.
The winner of Thursday's semi will face the winner of the other semi between No. 1 seed Lewis & Clark and No. 4 George Fox. The highest remaining seed hosts the conference championship game.
This is the third straight season that the Missionaries have made the tournament, but this is their highest seed of the three trips.
Ticket prices for the tournament games will be as follows: Adults -- $6, Children (12 and under) -- $3, and Seniors -- $3. All Whitman students receive free admission with student ID card. Doors will open at 5 pm.
For live video of Thursday night's game: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/whitman.portal#
Whitman Sports Information Director