Women Bury Wildcats in Season Finale

News Release Date:
Friday, February 19

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Getting double-digit scoring from five players, including all three of its seniors, Whitman College wrapped up its season with an 81-52 shellacking of Linfield College in women's basketball action Friday night in McMinnville, Ore.

Senior Hilary White pocketed 22 points, topping the 20-point plateau for a fourth straight game, to pace the Missionaries, who overcame a rash of injuries early in the season to finish at 7-9 in NWC and 12-13 overall.

Michelle Krall
Hilary White

Linfield, losing to Whitman for the second time this winter, slipped to 4-11 and 6-18. The Wildcats end their season Saturday night when they host Whitworth.

Whitman's five starters combined to score all but six of the team's points.

White, who buried five 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds, ran her final career scoring total to 975 points, moving past 2006 graduate Laura Vertatschitsch into 13th place on Whitman's all-time scoring list. White also collected 391 career rebounds.

Senior Michelle Krall put her all-around game on display one final time, combining 13 points (3-6 3pt.) with seven rebounds, six assists, one blocked shot and one steal. A four-year starter, Krall finished her career with 838 points, 562 rebounds and 233 assists.

Dawna Mello

Dawna Mello, a senior who stepped into the starting point guard spot this season, made four of six shots from the floor -- including three of four from the 3-point arc -- while contributing 11 points and seven assists against just two turnovers.

Rebecca Sexton

Rebecca Sexton, Whitman's 6-foot-3 junior center, was a force in the paint, making seven of 10 shots from the floor en route to 15 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots. First-year guard Kelly Peterson tossed in 14 points, making six of nine shots from the floor, and found five rebounds.

Whitman raced away to a 41-23 halftime lead, outscoring the Wildcats 18-0 at point prior to intermission.

The Missionaries finished with 13 3-pointers, one fewer than the school-record total they knocked down last month against Willamette. Whitman outrebounded Linfield 43-35 and forced the Wildcats into 19 turnovers.

With Linfield in front 14-11 after eight minutes of the first half, Whitman uncorked its 18-0 blitz to seize command. Peterson canned a 3-pointer to start the run and White quickly followed with two more. Peterson added another bucket and sophomore Jennifer Keyes struck again from long range as the Missionaries vaulted on top by a 29-14 count.

Mello's three just before the first-half buzzer gave Whitman a 41-23 cushion at the break.

The Wildcats scratched back to within 14 points, 58-44, with nine minutes remaining, but Whitman opened the taps on another dominating spurt, clicking off 16 unanswered points to put the game far out of reach. Krall and Mello both connected from long range during that run, which also included four points apiece from Sexton and White.

Whitman took its biggest lead of the night, 81-48, when sophomore Kirsten Vaculik made a free throw with a minute left.

Box Score

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