Whitworth Finishes Strong, Beats Linfield 77-65 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth Finishes Strong, Beats Linfield 77-65


by Whitworth Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth women’s basketball team proved it wasn’t about how they started, but how they finished, in Saturday’s 77-65 win over visiting Linfield.

The Pirates trailed 8-0 nearly five minutes into the game, but outscored the Wildcats 19-9 in the fourth quarter to improve to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the NWC.  Linfield dropped to 5-3, 0-2.

Jessica McMillan hit two baskets to help stake the Wildcats to their 8-0 lead.  Meanwhile the Wildcat defense held Whitworth to 0-7 shooting from the field out of the gate.  KC McConnell got the Pirates on the board for the first time at the 5:08 mark of the first quarter.  Whitworth was eventually able to climb back to within 19-16 at the end of the quarter.  McMillan had six in that period for the ‘Cats.

The Pirates took their first lead of the game at 20-19 on a layup by Faith Emerson, but Linfield answered with a 5-0 run, including a three-point play by McMillan.  Another Emerson basket got Whitworth within 36-34 at halftime.  The Wildcats outshot the Pirates 48% - 38% in the first half and had a 26-15 edge in rebounding.

Whitworth began to exert more control in the third quarter.  Emerson’s three-pointer gave the Bucs a 45-51 lead.  Linfield would not take another lead, but Linfield did force four more tie scores in the third period.  The final tie came at 56-56 after a pair of free throws by Audrey McMillan.  The Pirates led 58-56 at the end of the third.

Then Whitworth began its big finish.  The Pirates outscored the Wildcats 14-2 over the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 72-58 lead.  McConnell scored the final four points of the run.  Brian Maley’s three-pointer gave Whitworth a 75-60 lead, its largest of the game.  After getting beaten on the boards for most of the game, the Pirates had a 15-9 edge in rebounding in the last quarter.

McConnell had a season-high 23 points for the Pirates one night after scoring 21 in a win over L&C.  Emerson added 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds.  Maley scored eight points off of the bench.  Whitworth finished the game making 27-66 (41%) from the floor and 8-19 (42%) from three-point range.  The Bucs were 15-19 from the free throw line.

Jessica McMillan led Linfield with 18 points and nine rebounds.  Hannah Depew had 11 points and Audrey McMillan scored ten, both off of the bench.    The Wildcats were 23-51 (45%) from the field and 3-7 from three-point range.  They struggled from the free throw line, making only 16 of 29 attempts (55%).  Linfield also committed 19 turnovers.

Whitworth will return to action next weekend at the Kim Evanger Raney Classic in Walla Walla.

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