Idaho Scores Late to Edge Whit Women

News Release Date:
Saturday, December 13

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The College of Idaho, improving to 11-1 on the season, overcame deficits early in both halves of play to hand the Whitman College women their first loss of the season, 65-62, Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

Rebecca Sexton

Whitman, playing short-handed, shot just 34.8 percent from the floor, well below the 45.0 percent shooting percentage it posted in winning its first eight games. 

College of Idaho, ranked No. 17 nationally in NAIA Div. II, got 19 points from senior ShaNae Horner and 17 points and nine rebounds from senior Christon Vander Esch.

Sophomore center Rebecca Sexton had a game-high 22 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots to pace Whitman, which doesn't have a senior on its roster. 

Whitman, ranked No. 24 in NCAA Div. III, threatened to blow the Coyotes out of the gym in the first six minutes of play, racing away to a 13-0 lead. The visitors missed their first six shots from the floor (plus two free throws) and committed six turnovers. Junior Hilary White fueled the Missionary outburst with six points and first-year guard Jennifer Keyes capped the run with a 3-pointer.

But Idaho countered with a 17-4 to knot the score at the 7:51 mark and the score remained tied, 28-28, at intermission. Whitman opened the second half with another quick blitz, jumping in front 35-28 in the first 90 seconds on inside buckets by White and Sexton sandwiched around a 3-pointer by junior Michelle Krall.

Krall's layup with 13:05 remaining had the Missionaries in front 45-38, and White's trey made it 48-43 with 12:14 on the clock.

After Nicole Gall's 3-ball pulled the Coyotes even at 48 and Sexton scored inside for Whitman, Idaho reeled off the next nine points to lead 57-50 with six minutes left. A six-point Missionary run, which included two Sexton hoops, forged a 60-60 tie with 2:14 left.

Michelle Krall

After Vander Esch and Sexton traded baskets, Horner scored to give the Coyotes the lead for good at 64-62 with 26 seconds remaining. After Whitman missed its next shot from the floor and Idaho misfired on the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity, the Missionaries turned the ball over with 10 seconds left.

Idaho's Alexandria Allen was sent to the free throw line three seconnds later, but she made just one of two for a 65-62 lead. Keyes got a decent look at a game-tying three on Whitman's final possession, but her running one-hander failed to drop at the buzzer. 

The Coyotes, who made just four of 18 free throws on the night, shot 44.3 percent from the floor and outrebounded Whitman 44-40.

Krall had 13 points, three assists and three steals for Whitman, and White was good for 11 points and seven boards. Sophomores Anna Forge and Jenele Peterson contributed nine rebounds and six assists, respectively.

Whitman's Ellen Vertatschitsch, a junior starter, missed the game after being knocked from Friday's victory over Eastern Oregon by an elbow to the temple. The Missionaries used just eight players while Idaho used 11, all but one off which made it into the scoring column.

The game completed Whitman's non-conference schedule. The Missionaries, picked to win the Northwest Conference in a preseason coaches poll, start conference play on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 2-3, when it hosts Pacific and George Fox. Both games start at 6 p.m.

Box Score

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Photos by Greg Lehman, Sunn Kim

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