Rebounding Whit Women Turn Back Pios

News Release Date:
Friday, January 29

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Blitzing the league's top rebounding team on the backboards by a wide margin, the Whitman College women's basketball team rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to roll past Lewis & Clark College 61-56 Friday night in Sherwood Center.

Whitman, battling through an injury-plagued season, improved to 3-6 in the Northwest Conference and 8-10 overall. The loss dropped the Pioneers to 6-3 and 12-6.

Hilary White

Whitman's Hilary White, a 5-foot-9 junior guard, posted her first double-double of the season with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. As a team, the Missionaries snared 18 offensive rebounds and outboarded the Pioneers 44-29.

The Missionaries also got 16 points from junior post Rebecca Sexton, who made eight of nine shots from the floor, and blocked two shots.

First-year guard Kelly Peterson also scored 16 points, six of which came inside the final two minutes as Whitman extended a one-point lead with a 9-5 closing spurt.

Kelly Peterson

Down 30-24 at halftime, Whitman pulled even at 36-36 when Peterson drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 12 minutes left to play.

After the two teams deadlocked at 38, 40, 42 and 44, White made a free throw and then swiped a Pioneer pass for a coast-to-coast layin that helped propel the Missionaries into a 50-44 advantage.

Lewis & Clark answered with seven unanswered points to sneak in front 51-50 with two minutes left on the clock, but White feathered home a soft jumper inside the key and Peterson swished a pair of free throws on the next Missionary possession.

With Whitman clinging to a 54-53 edge, Peterson drove the left side of the lane and used her left hand to loft a layin high off the glass with a minute left on the clock. The Missionaries then pulled away, knocking down five of six free throws to lead 61-53 with nine seconds left.

Rebecca Sexton

Lewis & Clark's Christina Herring banked home a 3-pointer in the final seconds to complete the scoring.

Kristina Williams led the Pioneers with 14 points and five rebounds. Neva Hauser and Talerra Rich added 13 and 10 points, respectively. 

With Sexton scoring twice inside and White hitting a 3-pointer, Whitman jumped in front 9-4 in the first four minutes of the opening half. The Pioneer surged back on an 11-2 run and later added a 12-5 spurt to lead 30-20 with two-plus minutes left in the half.

With the Whitman defense holding, junior Jessica Brice came off the bench to dent the scoreboard with a pair of offensive rebound putbacks, pulling Whitman to within six points at the break. 

Whitman returns to Sherwood Center on Saturday to host Willamette University in a 6 p.m. tilt. Lewis & Clark travels to Spokane on Saturday to play Whitworth.

Box Score

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