Orediggers Capitalize on First-Half Spurt
News Release Date:
Wednesday, December 29
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Montana Tech parlayed a 13-0 scoring spurt late in the first half into a 74-60 women's basketball victory over Whitman College Wednesday evening in the opening game of the Heuiser Physical Therapy Holiday Tournament at Carroll College in Helena, Mont.
The loss dropped Whitman to 6-3 on the season.
Montana Tech, an NAIA Division I school, improved to 10-4. The Orediggers attracted votes but just missed cracking the latest NAIA Top 25 national poll.
After Montana Tech bolted to a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes, Whitman reeled off 11 straight points to grab the early lead.
The Orediggers countered with a 9-0 run of their own to move back in front, but first-year forward Sarah Anderegg completed a three-point play in the paint to knot the game at 14-14 with just under 11 minutes left in the half.
Anderegg followed a few minutes later with two free throws to keep Whitman close at 19-16, but that's when Montana Tech tallied 13 unanswered points to assume command.
Whitman responded with another push, outscoring the Orediggers 11-3 to slice the deficit to 35-27 by halftime. Senior Rebecca Sexton contributed three points to the late run, Anderegg finished another three-point play in the key and sophomore Emilie Gilbert made three of four free throws in the final minute.
After Montana Tech extended its lead to 16 points early in the second half, juniors Jenele Peterson and Jennifer Keyes triggered a mini-Whitman run. Peterson knocked down a 3-pointer from the left side and Keyes slipped into the key for a short jumper to draw the Missionaries to within 47-36.
The Orediggers answered with the next seven points and kept Whitman at bay the rest of the way.
Sexton and Anderegg had big nights for the Missionaries. Sexton made seven of nine shots from the floor en route to 20 points and five rebounds while Anderegg made all eight of her free throws in combining 14 points with six boards.
Whitman also got eight points and three steals from Keyes and a game-high eight rebounds (plus two blocked shots) from junior Anna Forge.
Whitman plays its second touurnament game at 7 p.m. (Pacific time) Thursday, squaring off with Carroll.
The Missionaries then resume Northwest Conference action when it hosts Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 7-8.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org