Whitworth women fall at UPS in NWC semifinal - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth Basketball

Whitworth women fall at UPS in NWC semifinal

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

Courtesy UPS Athletics

TACOMA, Wash. -- Visiting Whitworth University fell behind by double digits less than eight minutes in the game and the Pirates could not overcome the early deficit in a 68-55 loss at the University of Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference women's basketball semifinal on Thursday night at Memorial Fieldhouse.

The Pirates' season comes to an end with a 14-12 record. The 13th-ranked Loggers improve to 23-3 and move on to play George Fox University on Saturday night in the NWC tournament final.

Puget Sound's lead hit double-digits at the 12:41 mark in the first half after the Loggers went on a 12-2 run. Puget Sound would push the lead to 15 points with nine minutes left in the first half as the maroon and white took a 29-18 lead into the break.

In the second half, the Loggers managed to push the lead to 19 points before Whitworth turned to the three-pointer to stay in it. The Pirates managed to hit six of 13 from behind the arc in the second half. Natalie Orrell's (Sr., F, Wenatchee, Wash.) three-pointer cut the deficit to 60-46 with eight minutes left. But the Loggers answered back with six three-pointers of their own.

Puget Sound was led by the 20 points from Kelsey McKinnis, who finished five of seven from the field, including four of five from three-point range, and six of six from the charity stripe. Claire Ely, the 2010 NWC Player of the Year, added the 18 points to go with eight assists and three steals. Jocelyn Riordan collected a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Whitworth was led by 13 points from Cassie Pilkinton (Sr., F, Chelan, Wash.) and 12 from Liz Horiatis (Sr., P, Woodinville, Wash.). Leah Pomante (Sr., G, Colbert, Wash.) chipped in 11 points. The Bucs turned the ball over just 14 times, compared with 15 for the Loggers, but were outrebounded 34-23.

Pilkinton, Pomante, Horiatis, Orrell, Kim Bluff (Sr., G, Cusick, Wash.) and Heather Burke (Sr., G, Cheney, Wash.) all played their final game for Whitworth.

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