Whit Women Bounce Back, Tame Wildcats

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 29

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Bouncing back from a narrow defeat the night before, the Whitman College women's basketball team knocked off Linfield 66-49 Saturday night in Sherwood Center to finish the weekend in fifth place in the Northwest Conference standings.

Beating Linfield for the second time this season, Whitman evened its NWC record at 5-5 and improved to 11-8 on the season.

  Whitman 66,
Linfield 49

  Box Score

The loss dropped the Wildcats to sixth place at 4-6 (9-9 overall).

Mary Madden

Sophomore Mary Madden matched her career-high with 16 points to spark Whitman's win, which was its eighth straight over Linfield, counting last month's 65-55 Missionary triumph in McMinnville.

Whitman controlled the game from the outset and took a 28-13 lead into intermission. The Wildcats briefly closed to nine points early in the second half, but sophomore Kelly Peterson -- Madden's high school teammate from Huntington Beach, Calif. -- hit a three to ignite an 11-2 run that had the Missionaries in front 42-24 with just under 12 minutes remaining.

Rebecca Sexton

Linfield stayed in hunt, trimming its deficit back to 49-38 with six-plus minutes left on the clock. Peterson and first-year forward Sarah Anderegg answered with four free throws and time soon ran out on the Wildcats.

Whitman shot just 32 percent from the floor for the game, but the Missionaries also outrebounded Linfield by a whopping 51-31 margin and forced the visitors into 16 turnovers.

Linfield rebounded from a tough first half shooting the ball to finish at 36.4 percent from the floor. Kaely Maltman led the Wildcats with 15 points while Gretchen Owens just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Abby Olbrich made good contributions for the Wildcats with nine points and four rebounds.

Junior Jenele Peterson (no relation to Kelly) added 13 points and three assists for the Missionaries. Senior Rebecca Sexton chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Kelly Peterson finished with nine points, six boards and three assists. Anderegg combined seven points and six rebounds while junior Anna Forge, who ranks No. 2 in the NWC in blocked shots, swatted away two more shots while snaring nine rebounds.

Emilie Gilbert

Meghan White, a first-year center, added to Whitman's domination of the backboards with seven rebounds.

With Madden hitting a pair of baseline jumpers, Whitman jumped in front 7-1 to start the game. It took Linfield nine minutes to tally its first field goal, but the Wildcats rallied to trail 13-11 with 8:35 left to play.

From there, however, Whitman closed out the half on a 15-2 run to lead 28-13 at the break. Jenele Peterson fueled the charge with a pair of buckets, one of them a 3-pointer, and sophomore guard Emilie Gilbert capped the spree with two free throws and successful drive to the hoop.

As a team, Linfield entered the game shooting 45 percent from the floor, the top mark in the NWC. But the Wildcats struggled throughout the first half, making just five of 23 shots (0-6 from the 3-point line) for a paltry 21.7 percent. 

Whitman heads to Tacoma next weekend to play NWC games at Pacific Lutheran at 6 p.m. Friday and Puget Sound at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Linfield  hosts Lewis & Clark at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Willamette at 6 p.m. Friday.

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