Second-Half Spurt Lifts Women Over Pacific

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 22

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- An 11-1 spurt to start the second half carried the Whitman College women's basketball team to a 70-55 Northwest Conference victory over Pacific University Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

   Whitman 70,
Pacific 55

  Box Score

Whitman, which got 17 points and four assists from junior guard Jenele Peterson, improved to 9-7 on the season and 4-4 in the NWC.

Jenele Peterson

Pacific, despite a huge night from Paige Jensen (19 points, 15 rebounds), dropped to 1-7 in conference and 5-12 overall.

Senior center Rebecca Sexton made five of six shots from the floor en route to 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Missionaries, who hit 55.2 percent of their field goal attempts in the second half, also got 10 points and eight rebounds from first-year forward Sarah Anderegg. Sophomore Kelly Peterson, who made all four of her shots from the floor (including a 3-pointer), added nine points.

Jenn Keyes

Sophomore Mary Madden snared eight rebounds for Whitman, which outboarded Pacific 40-37. Two juniors, Jenn Keyes (seven points, seven assists) and Anna Forge (three blocked shots), gave the Missionaries a big boost off the bench.

Erica Schultz added 13 points and three steals for Pacific, which was up by two points at halftime after leading by as many as 11 in the first half.

Five different players scored for Whitman as it seized control over the first four minutes of the second half, vaulting into a 41-33 lead.

Pacific stayed within reach and closed the gap to 50-37 with seven minutes left on the clock. But Keyes hit a short jumper and Anderegg followed with two more baskets to put some cushion back into the Missionary lead.

Rebecca Sexton

The Missionaries stretched that lead to 60-50 when Jenele Peterson took a nifty bounce pass from Keyes to finish a fastbreak layin while being knocked to the floor. After Peterson added the free throw and Pacific countered with a charity toss of its own, Keyes beat the shot clock with a long 3-pointer to make it 63-51 with just under three minutes left.

Whitman took a 4-2 lead to start the game, but the tide quickly turned as the Boxers hit the boards for several offensive rebounds and the Missionaries committed a handful of turnovers and missed six straight free throws.

With Pacific in front 16-5 with 12 minutes left in the half, Whitman briefly closed to within five points at 18-13 on a pair of Tiffani Brewer buckets.

The Boxers surged again, taking their biggest lead of the half at 24-13 with seven minutes remaining.

Two hoops by Jenele Peterson and Anderegg's offensive rebound putback, followed by a Catelyn Brewer 3-pointer, sliced Whitman's deficit to five points, 29-24 with three minutes left.

With Jenele Peterson converting two free throws and Keyes driving the lane for a short jumper, Whitman finished the half on a 6-3 run to trail by two at intermission.

Jensen nearly finished off a double-double for Pacific prior to halftime, collecting 11 points and nine rebounds over the first 20 minutes.

Two teams split last year with each winning on the opposition's floor. Kelly Peterson had 21 points, 19 in first half, in the Whitman win.

Whitman stays at home to play three games this coming week. 

The Missionaries host Walla Walla University for a 7 p.m. non-conference game on Monday and then welcome Lewis & Clark and Linfield to Sherwood Center on Friday and Saturday. Both of those NWC games start at 6 p.m.

Pacific hosts Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran next Friday and Saturday with 6 p.m. start times both nights.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu