Whits Pillage Pirates, Clinch Playoff Spot

News Release Date:
Tuesday, February 17

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Clinching a Northwest Conference playoff berth, the Whitman College women's basketball team raced away to 20-point halftime lead en route to a 81-56 victory over Whitworth University Tuesday night in Sherwood Center.

Now 17-7 overall and 9-6 in the NWC, Whitman can sew up the No. 3 playoff seed with a victory Friday in its regular season finale when Lewis & Clark College comes to Sherwood. Lewis & Clark nipped the Missionaries 52-49 in this season's first meeting between the two schools in Portland.

Michelle Krall

Tuesday's game, which dropped Whitworth to 12-12 on the season and 6-9 in conference, stayed close through the first seven minutes of the opening half. Whitman then seized command with a 23-5 run that produced a 37-17 Missionary cushion with just under three minutes left. Hilary White scored eight of her 13 first-half points to spark the spurt.

Two free throws by Michelle Krall, followed by a 3-point play by Jenele Peterson, pushed the Whitman lead to 22 points, but Kim Bluff scored in the closing seconds to make it 42-22 at the break.

Whitman ran a clinic with its offense in the first half, shooting 53.6 percent from the floor while six players collected assists on 13 of 15 Missionary baskets. Meanwhile, Whitworth shot just 25 percent with two assists over the first 20 minutes of play.

Jennifer Keyes

Whitworth briefly sliced its deficit to 14 points early in the second half, but Whitman scored 10 of the next 12 points to lead 56-34 with 12:30 left in the game. Missionary reserves Jessica Brice and Jennifer Keyes hit 3-pointers in the final minute to extend the final margin to 26 points.

White led Whitman with 19 points, hitting three of five shots from the 3-point line. She also had five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Keyes, who was four of six from long range, finished with 13 points while Peterson added 12 points and four assists.

Rebecca Sexton, Whitman's 6-foot-3 sophomore post, chipped in with nine points, seven rebounds and four assists. Krall finished with eight points, six boards and three assists.

Cassie Pilkington paced Whitworth with a game-high 22 points, including three 3-pointers. Liz Horiatis had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Whitman canned nine of its 16 attempts from the 3-point arc and shot 51.7 percent from the floor for the game, ending the night with 25 assists against just eight turnovers. The Missionaries picked off seven steals while hounding Whitworth into 18 turnovers. 

Whitworth won the rebounding battle 40-34. The Pirates close out their season Sunday when they host the Lewis & Clark women at 1 p.m. in Spokane.

Whitman's Friday game against Lewis & Clark 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.
holden@whitman.edu; (509) 527-5902