Whit Women Swish Late Free Throws, Win Fifth Straight
News Release Date:
Saturday, January 14
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Living up to its billing as the top free throw shooting team in the Northwest Conference, Whitman College knocked down eight straight freebies inside the final minute to seal a 65-58 women's basketball victory over Pacific University Saturday night in Sherwood Center.
Winning its fifth straight game, Whitman improved to 4-2 in the NWC and 8-7 overall.
Pacific dropped its third consecutive decision, slipping to 2-4 in conference and 9-5 on the season.
Whitman seized control over the final 10 minutes of the first half and then took its biggest lead of the night at 51-34 with 12 minutes left to play.
The Missionaries still led 55-40 with 6:30 remaining, but the Boxers made a final surge, scoring 11 of the next 13 points to draw within six points with just over two minutes still on the clock.
With time running out, Pacific sent Whitman senior Jenele Peterson to the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity with 57 seconds left.
Peterson, one of the top free throwers in the NWC, made the first -- and the second -- to give Whitman some breathing room at 60-53.
Rebounding a missed 3-pointer on Pacific's next possession, Peterson was fouled and again swished both ends of a one-on-one.
Erica Schultz scored for the Boxers with 27 seconds left, but sophomore Tiffani Traver drilled two more Missionary free throws to put the game out of reach.
Peterson, who leads the NWC in assists, paced Whitman with 14 points and six assists. A second senior, Jennifer Keyes, canned four 3-pointers for a second straight night to put 12 points on the board.
Six-foot sophomore Meghan White was a force in the middle, making five of six field goal attempts en route to 10 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
Whitman, which shot over 50 percent from the floor in building its big lead, also got nine points and six rebounds from sophomore Sarah Anderegg and eight points and four boards from junior Mary Madden.
Schultz led Pacific with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals. Paige Jensen posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards; she also handed out three assists to go with two blocked shots and two steals.
Nani Ostrom added eight points for the Boxers.
The victory, Whitman's fourth straight over Pacific, moves the Missionaries into a tie for third place as the conference season nears the midway point.
For the night, Whitman shot 44.9 percent from the field, 50 percent from the 3-point arc and 70.8 percent from the free throw stripe.
The Boxers shot just 31.3 from the floor and 27.8 percent from long distance.
Whitman won the rebounding battle 39-37, which helped offset 17 Missionary turnovers.
The two teams scored almost at will as the game's first eight minutes played out. But with Pacific leading 20-16 with 11 minutes left, Whitman closed out the half on a 19-7 run to lead 35-27 at the break.
Whitman shot 48.1 percent and out-rebounded the Boxers 19-17 over the first 20 minutes. Keyes hit three of four 3-point tries to spark an offense that saw eight Missionaries break into the scoring column.
Whitman opened the second half on a 16-7 run to take its largest lead of the night at 51-34. White scored eight of her points to spark that spurt.
Whitman hits the road for its next four NWC games, starting Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Whitworth in Spokane. The Missionaries then play next Saturday in Salem against Willamette.
Pacific plays Lewis & Clark in Portland next Friday before hosting Pacific Lutheran on Saturday.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org