Two Petersons, Sexton Named to NWC Team

News Release Date:
Saturday, February 26, 2011

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College junior Jenele Peterson made the First Team and teammates Rebecca Sexton and Kelly Peterson received Honorable Mention when the All-Northwest Conference basketball teams were announced Friday.

Jenele Peterson

Jenele Peterson, a 5-foot-7 point guard, led Whitman in scoring (13.6 ppg) and assists (3.0) this season.

Sexton, a 6-foot-3 center, averaged 8.6 points (shooting 56.1 percent from the floor) and a team-high 5.0 rebounds per game.

Kelly Peterson, a 5-foot-8 guard, added 8.0 points per game as part of a balanced Whitman offense and also hit the boards for 4.4 rebounds a night.

After missing most of last season with a knee injury, Jenele Peterson bounced back nicely this winter.

She was named NWC Player of the Week in early January after scoring a career-high 26 points in one game and then adding 23 points the next night. She made 17 of 30 shots from the floor, including five of seven 3-point attempts, in the two games while handing out a total of nine assists and snaring seven rebounds.

Peterson seldom left the floor in either of the two games, playing 37 of 40 minutes both nights. She also played 37 minutes in a two-overtime non-conference game against Northwest University, scoring a game-high 20 points to go with three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Peterson, who received a medical red-shirt exemption after hurting her knee last December, will return to the squad next season as a fifth-year senior. She was named to the All-NWC Second Team at the end of her sophomore season (2008-09) and received Honorable Mention recognition to cap her first year at Whitman.

Peterson was seventh in the NWC in scoring this season and fifth in assists. She was second in assist-to-turnover ratio (plus 1.32) and sixth in free throw percentage (96-120, 80 percent). Only two players in the NWC made more total free throws than she did.

Jenele Peterson is a graduate of South High School in Redondo Beach, Calif.

Kelly Peterson

Sexton, the only senior on this year's team, enjoyed another highly efficient scoring season in the low post, shooting 56.1 percent from the floor. That was the second-best field goal percentage in the NWC.

Sexton also ranked second in the conference in blocked shots with 32 rejections in 26 games. She collected a career-high six blocks in a December victory over Menlo in the Kim Evanger Raney Memorial Classic.

In a second Whitman victory at the Evanger Raney Classic, Sexton posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. She was one of two Missionaries named to the all-tourney team.

Sexton enjoyed a defensive field day in two victories over Pacific Lutheran this season. She blocked nine shots while scoring 20 points (9-13 fg). 

Rebecca Sexton

Other senior season highlights included a 20-point scoring night against Montana Tech.

Sexton also received Honorable Mention recognition to cap her sophomore campaign. She averaged 11.2 points (58.3 field goal percentage) and 5.5 rebounds that season.

Sexton, who shot well above 50 percent from the floor for her Whitman career, is a graduate of Gig Harbor (Wash.) High School.

Kelly Peterson, adding a hint of toughness to the Missionary line-up, made contributions in a number of areas throughout the season.

She just missed a double-double against NWC co-champ Lewis & Clark with nine points and 10 rebounds (plus two assists, one blocked shot, one steal) in 35 minutes on the floor.

Peterson, who led Whitman in steals this winter, had eight points, seven assists and two steals against Northwest University early in the season.

She sparked a late-season victory at Pacific Lutheran with a team-high 14 points that included two free throws in the closing seconds to clinch the four-point win.

Last winter as a first-year player, Peterson slipped into an immediate starting role when teammate Jenele Peterson went down with a season-ending knee injury. She averaged 11.4 points and 4.0 rebounds that season, earning All-NWC Second-Team honors.

Kelly Peterson is a graduate of Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Click here for All-NWC Women's Basketball Team.

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