Women's Hoops Falls to Whitworth 55 - 54 in NWC Semi-Final
Walla Walla, Wash. -- The Whitworth Women's basketball team edged the Missionaries in a Northwest Conference semi-final game at George Ball Court tonight, 55 - 54, ending Whitman's season, and putting the Lady Pirates into the NWC Finals where they will face No. 1 seed Lewis & Clark -- a 75 - 59 winner over George Fox tonight in Portland.
Heather Johns vs. Whitworth
Point-guard Heather Johns (So., West Richland, WA) scored 20 and post Meghan White (Jr., Huntington Beach, CA) hauled down 16 rebounds, but it was not enough against the gritty Pirates who hit key shots and free throws down the stretch to notch their 20th win of the season against 6 losses. Whitman finishes the season 20 - 5, the most wins in the program's history.
Trailing 50 - 49 with just over four minutes to play in the game, Whitworth's Emily Travis stole the ball and then hit a three-pointer to give the Lady Bucs the lead 52 - 50. With 2:05 to play, guard Kc McConnell converted a layup to make it a 4-point margin. Johns hit one of two from the line and with 21-seconds remaining, Missionary Sarah Anderegg (Jr., Redmond, WA) drove in for a deuce to cut the lead to 54 - 53. Travis sank one of two from the charity stripe to give Whitworth a two-point margin again. Johns got to the line and hit one of two to narrow the lead to 55 - 54.
Whitman immediately fouled. Kayla Johnson missed the front-end of a one-and-one and the Missionaries had one final chance with 5 - seconds on the clock. Johns dribbled into the front court but was trapped in the corner and when she tried to dribble out, she lost control of the ball and the clock ran out.
Meghan White, Jr.
The frenzied ending capped a tight game in which no team led by more than five -- Whitman 36 - 31, midway through the second half. But that was quickly extinguished by two consecutive treys by Travis, who ended up with a team-high 13 points (3 - 5 from beyond the arc). Jamie Lyons and Katara Belton-Sharp added 9 apiece.
Anderegg had 11 to go along with Johns' 20 for Whitman, and White's 16 boards helped give the Whits a 50 - 31 edge on the glass.
Whitworth came out bombing from beyond the arc, hitting three treys to take a 9-7 lead when Lauren Picha drilled a three-ball from the wing with just less than four minute gone in the 1st half. Whitman responded with layups by Johns and Anderegg to retake the lead 12 - 9.
The teams traded baskets with the Pirates leading 24 - 22 just before half but White got the carom on a baseline jumper just before the buzzer sounded, to take the teams into the locker rooms tied at 24- all.
Whitworth has, now, won 10 of its last 11 and will face the Pioneers at 7 pm this Saturday.
Whitman Sports Information Director