SWX - Lewis & Clark Holds Off Whitworth 67-63 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth - Women's Basketball

Lewis & Clark Holds Off Whitworth 67-63

(Photo: File/ Whitworth Athletics) (Photo: File/ Whitworth Athletics)

by Whitworth Athletics

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Lewis & Clark hit six straight free throws in the final 40 seconds of the game to hold off a persistent Whitworth comeback effort and pick up a 67-63 Northwest Conference women's basketball win on Sunday afternoon at the Pamplin Sports Center.

The Pioneers improved to 8-3 overall and 2-0 in the NWC, while the visiting Pirates fell to 5-6, 1-1.

Whitworth never had a chance to lead in the game, falling behind 7-0 less than three minutes into the first half. The Bucs answered with five straight, quickly establishing a pattern that would persist throughout the contest. L&C would pull ahead and Whitworth would close, but never quite catch up. Cassie Pilkinton's basket got the Pirates within 20-17 with 4:51 to play in the period, but the Pioneers closed on a 9-3 run for a 29-20 advantage heading into the locker rooms.

L&C quickly opened up a 12-point lead (37-25) on a jumper by Talerra Rich three minutes into the second half. The lead hovered around 10 points for much of the rest of the half. Whitworth's comeback effort was slowed by 10 foul calls against the Bucs over the first 6:15 of the second half. Trailing 48-38, Whitworth got within five after a Keilah Fanene three-pointer and a short jumper by Pilkinton.

But the Pioneers quickly answered and retook a 58-48 lead on a three-point basket by Christina Herring. Whitworth made its final charge and got within 61-58 after a jumper by Kim Bluff with 1:55 to play. The teams traded possessions without a basket for most of the remaining time, and with 38 seconds to play Megan Spence made two free throws to put the Pios back up by five. Whitworth would answer with a basket twice more, including a three-point play by Leah Pomante, but L&C would pick up both free throws after each Pirate score. Kristina Williams sealed the win with two free throws with seven seconds to play.

Whitworth saw its shooting touch start to come back as the Pirates made 41% of their shots (22-54), including 45% (9-20) of their three-point attempts. But the Bucs were beaten on the boards 42-32.

Pilkinton led the Pirates with 13 points and six rebounds, while Lauren Picha came off of the bench to make three three-pointers and also score 13 points. Natalie Orrell finished with 10 points.

Margaret Dowling scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead L&C, while Rich also scored 16 points and added eight boards.

Whitworth will return to action next Friday evening when the Pirates host Pacific University at 6:00 p.m. in the Fieldhouse.

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