Lead Slips Away, Whit BB Women Fall at LC
News Release Date:
Thursday, February 24
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With a six-point lead slipping away in the second half, the Whitman College women's basketball team saw its season come to a close with a 60-51 Northwest Conference first-round playoff loss to Lewis & Clark Thursday night in Portland, Ore.
Whitman, which won the last three games of the regular season to earn the fourth and final playoff spot, ended its season with a 15-11 record.
Lewis & Clark, now 21-5 on the season and the top seed in the four-team playoff, hosts second-seeded George Fox Saturday night for the NWC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national championship field.
George Fox, also 21-5, downed third-seeded Puget Sound 62-56 tonight in Newberg, Ore., to advance to Saturday's playoff finale.
Tied with Lewis & Clark at 25-25 at halftime, Whitman opened the second stanza on a 9-3 run to lead by six points with 14 minutes left to play. After Jenele Peterson sparked the spurt with a 3-pointer, Anna Forge hit two jumpers and Rebecca Sexton added a third for a 34-28 Missionary lead.
The Pioneers responded with nine unanswered points to regain the lead. After the home team extended its advantage to 41-36 with 7:51 left to play, Whitman pulled to within three points on three occasions.
Peterson's jumper cut Whitman's deficit to 48-44 with 2:44 left, but Lewis & Clark made 12 of 16 free throws the rest of the way to finish off the victory.
Late in the first half, Forge made two free throws to give Whitman a 21-20 lead. Tiffani Brewer completed a three-point play in the paint, and Peterson made a steal and drew a foul. She made one of two charity tosses, staking the Missionaries to a 25-20 lead with 2:20 left in the half.
Lewis & Clark erased that lead with two offensive rebound putbacks and a foul shot, squaring the game at 25-25 at intermission.
Peterson paced Whitman with a game-high 15 points and added four assists. Brewer had 11 points and five rebounds while Sexton, the lone senior on Whitman's roster, had 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots in her final game.
Forge combined six points with five rebounds.
Whitman shot just 34 percent from the floor for the game, but that was better than the 30.5 percent shooting night that hampered the home team.
Lewis & Clark finished with a decisive 51-33 rebounding advantage and outscored the Missionaries by eight points at the free throw line. The Pioneers were 21 of 30 at the charity stripe while Whitman was 13 of 14.
Megan Spence paced Lewis & Clark with 14 points and nine rebounds. Kristina Williams shot just three of 16 from the floor but finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Christina Herring and Neva Houser added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Pioneers. Margaret Dowling collected 13 rebounds, six at the offensive end.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org