BB Women Rally, Fall Few Points Short

News Release Date:
Saturday, February 14

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Down by seven points at halftime, the Whitman College women's basketball team rallied to within two points late in the second half before dropping a 68-63 decision to the University of Puget Sound Saturday afternoon in Tacoma, Wash.

Puget Sound solidified its hold on second place in the Northwest Conference, improving to 10-4. Whitman slipped into a third-place tie at 8-6 with Pacific University. Both Whitman and Puget Sound are 16-7 on the season.

Michelle Krall, who led Whitman with 19 points and six rebounds, made a layup with two minutes left to play to trim Puget Sound's lead to 60-58. After the Loggers responded with a 3-pointer, Jennifer Keyes hit a jumper to keep the Missionaries close at 63-60 with 1:18 remaining. Two Logger free throws and a Whitman turnover sealed the outcome.

Hilary White added 17 points and four rebounds for Whitman. Jenele Peterson combined seven points and seven assists while Rebecca Sexton had eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Keyes finished with eight points.

Puget Sound's Claire Ely led all scorers with 24 points, half of which she made from the free throw line. 

Whitman trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, but a jumper by Ellen Vertatschitsch pulled the Missionaries to within 27-24 with 1:48 left. The Loggers added four three throws to lead 31-24 at the break.

Baskets by Krall and Sexton to open the second half got Whitman back to within three points, but Puget Sound pulled away and led 49-37 with 14:46 remaining. The Missionaries reeled off nine straight points and the game stayed close the rest of the way. 

After Peterson's layup lowered Whitman's deficit to 52-50 at the 8:39 mark, Puget Sound eased back in front by seven points. Krall's 3-pointer with four minutes left sparked the final Missionary comeback bid.

Whitman plays its final two regular season games at home, starting Tuesday with Whitworth. The game starts at 6 p.m. in Sherwood Center. 

Box Score

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