Short-Handed Whit Women Win Anyway

News Release Date:
Friday, November 20

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- It wasn't easy, but a shorted-handed Whitman College women's basketball team opened its season with a 62-59 victory over Macalester College Friday night in the third annual Kim Evanger Raney Memorial Classic on George Ball Court in Sherwood Center.

A year ago at this time, Whitman traveled to Macalester's home floor in St. Paul, Minn., and came away with an 83-79 victory.

Kelly Peterson

For Friday's rematch, Whitman was without injured four-year starter Michelle Krall and sophomore sharpshooter Jennifer Keyes. Also missing was first-year guard Emilie Gilbert, who is competing this weekend at the NCAA Div. III national cross country championships.

Up 29-25 at halftime, Whitman retained its advantage throughout the final 20 minutes. Macalester closed to within two points early in the second half, but Whitman responded with an 8-0 run, thanks to two free throws by Mary Madden and layins by Jessica Brice, Rebecca Sexton and Hilary White.

After Macalester's Trina PaStarr scored inside, first-year guard Kelly Peterson hit a 3-pointer and Madden, also a first-year player, followed with a layin to gave Whitman a 50-38 lead with just under 10 minutes left on the clock.

Jenele Peterson

Peterson's offensive rebound and putback had the Missionaries in front by seven, 58-51, with less than three minutes to play. Macalester made a final push, getting 3-pointers from Maggie Wood and Majra Mucic to slice its deficit to a single point (60-59) with five seconds remaining.

Peterson, who finished her first college game with seven points and five rebounds, was fouled on the inbounds play and made both ends of the one-and-one to complete the scoring.

Macalester was unable to get the ball up the court in time for a final shot prior to the final buzzer.

Whitman jumped in front 10-4 in the first four minutes of the opening half. Jenele Peterson (no relation to Kelly Peterson) and Anna Forge, two juniors, fueled the early offense with four points apiece.

Macalester pulled even at 11-11 and inched ahead 15-13 with 10 minutes left in the half.

The Missionaries responded with a 10-0 spurt, capped by 3-pointers from White and Dawna Mello, to lead 23-15 with four minutes remaining. Macalester converted eight free throws to draw within four points at intermission. 

Jenele Peterson led Whitman with 16 points, making eight of 11 shots from the floor. She also had four assists.

Sexton, a 6-foot-3 junior center, made six of seven shots from the floor en route to 12 points and six rebounds. Forge added 10 points and four boards.

Rebecca Sexton

PaStarr sparked Macalester with 22 points and nine rebounds. Mucic added eight points and five boards.

Macalester pounded the glass for 18 offensive rebounds and finished with a 47-36 advantage on the backboards. 

Earlier in the day, Lewis-Clark State downed Whitworth University 67-55 in the tournament's other first-round game.

The tournament honors the memory of Kim Evanger Raney, a graduate of Issaquah (Wash.) High School who played basketball at Whitman, graduating in 2002 with a degree in psychology. She died in March of 2007 in cycling accident.

Gate receipts from today's action, which also included two men's tournament games, will go to the Kim Evanger Raney Foundation, created by her family to help children in need.

The women's tournament concludes Saturday with two more games. Whitworth and Macalester play at 2 p.m. followed by Whitman and Lewis-Clark State at 6 p.m.

The men's tournament features the host Whitman squad along with Lewis & Clark College, Portland Bible College, and William Jessup University (Rocklin, Calif.)

Box Score

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