White, Peterson Spark Women Past 'Cats

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 23

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With senior Hilary White and first-year teammate Kelly Peterson scoring 16 points apiece, the Whitman College women's basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak with a 71-63 Northwest Conference victory over Linfield College Saturday night in Sherwood Center.

Whitman, which ran away to a 18-point lead in the first half, staved off a number of Linfield comeback bids to nail down the win.

Kelly Peterson
Hilary White

The Missionaries improved to 2-6 in the NWC and 7-10 overall. The Wildcats, also 2-6 in conference, are 4-13 on the season. 

Whitman held Linfield scoreless for a span of nearly nine minutes in the first half, building a 27-12 lead.

Jennifer Keyes, a first-year guard, added to the early outburst with two 3-pointers, and White's two free throws with three minutes left in the half made it 32-14 Whitman.

Rather than go quietly into the break, the Wildcats rallied with 10 unanswered points to trail 32-24 at intermission. 

Linfield then drilled a pair of 3-pointers to open the second half, trimming its deficit to two points. But Peterson and White answered back with treys to restore an eight-point cushion for the home team.

After Linfield closed to within 42-38, first-year Missionary forward Mary Madden sandwiched two buckets around a 3-pointer from first-year guard Emilie Gilbert.

White followed with one of her threes and Madden made four consecutive free throws, extending Whitman's lead to 55-42 at the 10-minute mark.

Mary Madden

Linfield wasn't quite done, however, getting a pair of 3-pointers from Lindsey Gummersall pull within five points, 57-52, with five minutes remaining.

White stemmed the tide for Whitman, knocking down her fourth 3-pointer of the night, and the Wildcats drew no closer than six points the rest of the way. With Linfield down 62-56, Peterson provided the dagger, a strike from the 3-point line with two minutes left on the clock.

White and Peterson also snared six rebounds apiece for Whitman, which battled Linfield to a 41-41 stalemate on the backboards. The backcourt duo also combined for eight of Whitman's 18 assists.

Michelle Krall

Senior Michelle Krall and Madden finished their nights with 11 and 10 points, respectively, and both players came down with six rebounds. Krall tallied nine of her points on a trio of 3-pointers in the game's first 10 minutes.

Rebecca Sexton, Whitman's 6-foot-3 junior post, was a force in the middle, blocking five shots and grabbing five boards to go with seven points.

Gummersall had a big night for the Wildcats with five 3-pointers and a game-high 23 points. Gretchen Owens added 17 points and six rebounds. Kelsey Forrest chipped in 10 points while Chrissy Baumgartner collected 10 rebounds.

Whitman finished the night with a dozen 3-pointers, one more than the Wildcats.

Whitman stays at home next weekend to host Lewis & Clark on Friday and Willamette on Saturday. Both games start at 6 p.m. in Sherwood Center.

Linfield is in Tacoma, Wash., next weekend to play at Pacific Lutheran on Friday and Puget Sound on Saturday. Those games also start at 6 p.m. 

Box Score

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