Lady Hoopsters Win Conference Opener Over PLU With Big First Half
News Release Date:
Friday, November 30
Walla Walla, WA – A blistering shooting performance in the first half gave the Whitman Women’s Basketball team a commanding 48 to 18 halftime advantage as they eased to a 71 to 51 victory over Pacific Lutheran University in their Northwest Conference opener tonight at the Sherwood Center.
Heather Johns, So.
Coming off a heartbreaking overtime road loss to nationally NAIA ranked Eastern Oregon University, the Lady Whits started fast and ran their offense almost to perfection, finding open looks on back cuts, well delivered entry passes and ball screens, on their way to shooting 58 % for the half. The defensive effort produced several fast break layups as the Lady Missionaries broke away from PLU after a tight first few minutes. The Lady Lutes led 9 to 6 at the 15:29 mark before Whitman went on 16 to nothing run over the next five minutes in opening up a 20 to 6 advantage. During the spurt, guard Heather Johns (So., West Richland, WA) drove for a layup and hit a medium range jumper, and forward Hailey Ann Maeda (Fr., Kailua, HI) came off the bench to add two baskets in the low post.
Johns finished the game with 12 points, sharing the top scoring honors with Meghan White (Jr., Huntington Bch, CA) and Sarah Anderegg (Jr., Redmond, WA). Johns recorded a double-double as she paired 10 rebounds with her dozen points. Nine Missionaries got in the scoring book, Maeda tallying a season-high 8 points to go with 4 rebounds.
After Whitman’s initial spurt, the teams traded baskets for a few minutes before the Lady Whits went on a devastating 19 to 4 run over the final 7:52 of the first half, sparked by a steal and a breakaway layup by point-guard Mara Alindogan (Jr. Everett, WA). Whitman continued to get layups off of steals or short range jumpers from their half-court offense as they opened up the 27-point halftime advantage.
Hailey Ann Madea, So.
In the second half, the Missionaries cooled off, shooting a 38 % from the field – they ended up shooting 48 % for the game – but still maintained a comfortable lead throughout the second twenty minutes, seeing their advantage bulge to as many as 31 points and never less than 20.
The game saw the return of senior forward Mary Madden (Sr., Huntington Bch., CA) who had missed the last several games with a high ankle sprain. The 5-11 Madden started both halves, finishing with 4 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes of play.
The victory puts the Lady Missionaries at 4 and 1, overall, and 1 and 0 in conference. The loss dropped PLU to 0 and 3, overall, and 0 and 1 in the NWC. The Lady Missionaries play Colorado College tomorrow night in Spokane. Whitman resumes conference play this Friday at home as they host the University of Puget Sound at 6 pm; the conference game will serve as the opening round of the Kim Evanger-Raney Classic.