Women's Hoops Sets New Regular Season Mark in Linfield Victory
McMinnville, Ore. -- The Whitman Women's basketball team completed the most successful regular season in the program's history when it beat Linfield 67 - 53 tonight in McMinnville, giving the Missionaries 20 wins -- the program's previous high was 19 back in 2003-04 when the Whits were co-champs under Head Coach Michelle Ferenz.
Heather Johns, So.
In the postgame, Ferenz said, "We are excited to host a playoff game this week and to set a new standard for wins. This team has been a pleasure to coach and we are looking forward to the post season."
The win provided Whitman with a final Northwest Conference mark of 13 - 3 and a regular season record of 20 - 4, taking care of business down the stretch as they won 9 of their last 10. The Whits finished second in the NWC, one game behind No. 11 Lewis & Clark (14 - 2) and will host a first round NWC tournament game this Thursday at 6 pm -- opponent yet to be determined. With the loss, Linfield drops to 1 - 14 and 2 - 19. For complete NWC standings click Standings.
The Missionaries had to wait longer than expected to pursue their record breaking victory, for the game was delayed an hour due to a lack of referees (they thought game started at 6, not 4 pm). The officials did arrive and tip-off transpired an hour after the originally scheduled time. The delay did not stop Whitman from taking care of business
Sarah Anderegg, Jr.
Led by point-guard Heather Johns (So., W. Richland, WA) who poured in a game-high 19 points to go along with 3 assists and 2 steals, the Missionaries got out to an 18 - 7 lead when Sarah Anderegg (Jr., Redmond, WA) hit a jumper with 12:12 remaining in the first half. The Wildcats drew within 3 on a Katelyn Hensen jumper at the 2:40 mark but the Whits extended the lead back to nine, 27 - 18, by halftime.
In the second half, the Whits found their offensive rhythm, scoring 40 points and making 50 % of their shots (16 - 31), opening up leads of eleven several times before pulling away at the end.
Each time the Wildcats drew within striking distance, the Whits had an answer. A Hensen bucket cut the lead to 6 with just over eight minutes remaining, but Anderegg hit Johns on a back-door cut, John's completing the three-point play by sinking the free-throw and extending the lead back out to nine.
Anderegg, who finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds, had several key buckets late in the second half to counter Linfield baskets. Mary Madden (Sr., Huntington Beach, CA) had 10. Heather Lovelace (So., McKinleyville, CA) came off the bench for 8, and Meghan White (Jr., Huntington Beach, CA) had a game-high 8 rebounds. The Whits, who lead the conference in rebound margin, won the rebound battle 47 - 28, hauling down 32 on the defensive glass.
"It was a solid all-around performance again, especially, defensively and on the boards," said Ferenz. "Meghan Sarah and Hailey Maeda (Fr., Kailua, HI) really led the way on the boards."
Kaely Maltman led the Wildcats with 14 points; Hensen added 10 as Linfield shot 36 % from the field.
As the number two seed in the conference tourney, the Missionaries will host the No. 4 seed Thursday night at 6 pm in Sherwood Center.
Whitman Sports Information Director