Whitman KO's Boxers, Snare Playoff Spot
News Release Date:
Friday, February 18
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Outscoring Pacific University 26-2 over the last 14 minutes of the first half, the Whitman College women's basketball team cruised to a 67-44 victory Friday night in Forest Grove, Ore., to nail down the fourth and final Northwest Conference playoff berth.
Whitman finished the regular season with records of 15-10 overall and 9-7 in the NWC.
As the No. 4 seed, the Missionaries advance to the first-round of the conference playoffs, playing next Thursday night in the gym of the No. 1 seed.
George Fox or Lewis & Clark will be Whitman's first-round opponent. The two teams are tied for first place after tonight's play with 13-2 NWC records.
Lewis & Clark plays its regular season finale at Willamette (2-13 NWC) on Saturday while George Fox hosts Puget Sound (11-4 NWC).
In losing to Whitman for the second time this season, Pacific saw its record fall to 6-18 overall and 2-13 in the NWC. The Boxers play their last game Saturday night, hosting Whitworth.
Rebecca Sexton, Whitman's lone senior, paced Whitman's victory with 19 points and eight rebounds. She made seven of nine shots from the floor and five of seven free throws.
Tiffani Brewer, a first-year guard, hit two of three 3-point shots and finished with 10 points. Sophomores Mary Madden and Kelly Peterson chipped in with nine and seven points, respectively.
Whitman essentially won the game in the first half, although the Boxers held the early advantage, moving in front 11-4 after Kristen Corrales made two free throws with 14:24 left.
For Pacific, however, it was straight down hill after that. The Boxers failed to score for nearly 13 minutes as the Missionaries tallied the next 22 points, seizing a 26-11 lead. Pacific missed 13 shots and committed 14 turnovers during its nosedive.
Jensen Paige finally scored again for the Boxers with 1:40 left in the half, but junior Anna Forge and Madden countered with jumpers to give the Missionaries a 30-13 cushion at the break.
The 22-0 Whitman surge included seven points by Madden and five each from Brewer and junior Jennifer Keyes.
Pacific twice closed to within 14 points early in the second half but Whitman soon pushed its advantage above the 20-point mark. Kelly Peterson drilled a three with just under six minutes remaining as the Missionaries went up by 26 points at 59-33, matching its largest point spread from the first half.
Winning for the fifth time in its last seven games, Whitman overcame its slow beginning -- one for eight from the floor to start the game -- to shoot 41.8 percent for the game. The Missionaries converted 15 of 17 free throw opportunities, outrebounded Pacific 34-33 and forced the Boxers into 25 turnovers. The home team shot just 30.4 percent from the floor.
Forge keyed the defense with three steals, adding five rebounds and six points.
Jensen led Pacific with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Kandice McArthur added nine points for the Boxers, who also got seven points apiece from Corrales and Erica Schultz.
Whitman won this season's first meeting between the two schools by a 70-55 margin.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org