Pirates Rally Past Slugs to Open Kim's Tournament
News Release Date:
Friday, December 9
|Sarah Mackey starts a Santa Cruz fastbreak with Whitworth's Kayla Johnson in pursuit|
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Overcoming an 11-0 deficit at the outset, Whitworth University rallied for a 70-65 women's basketball victory over the University of California-Santa Cruz in Friday night's opening game of the fifth annual Kim Evanger Raney Memorial Classic at Whitman College.
Whitworth improved to 3-6 on the season. UC-Santa Cruz, an NCAA Division III independent, also finished the night at 3-6.
The triumph gave the Pirates a measure of revenge for a 69-68 loss to UCSC last season in Spokane.
Lexi Belcher had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead a balanced Whitworth attack that saw five players tally eight or more points.
|Whitworth's Lexi Belcher|
Kayla Johnson added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds to Whitworth's winning effort while Kendra Lahue jumped off the Pirate bench for 12 points and seven boards.
Emily Guthrie chipped in with eight points, seven rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots.
Sarah Mackey, a 6-foot first-year forward, had a superlative night for UCSC, combining 27 points with 12 rebounds, five blocked shots and four steals.
The Banana Slugs also got 10 points from Danielle Mofsowitz and eight points and five rebounds from Leah Parrish. Alison Scarbrough and Erin Joo both finished the night with seven points and five boards.
Undeterred by UCSC's 11-0 to start the game, Whitworth kept plugging away and closed to within 27-23 by halftime.
Whitworth took its first lead of the night on a Belcher basket with 14:22 left in the second half. The two sides traded small leads over the next several minutes before Lahue's 3-pointer put the Pirates back on top for good with four minutes left.
Whitworth shot just 32.3 percent from the floor (20-62) but made 27 of 30 free throws and battled the Banana Slugs to a 41-41 stalemate on the backboards.
Whitworth returns to the court at 6 p.m. Saturday to play Pennsylvania's Lancaster Bible College in the second tournament game for both teams.
UC-Santa Cruz battles Whitman at 8 p.m. Saturday to conclude the tournament.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com