Whitworth Women Pull Away Late at Pacific - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth Women Pull Away Late at Pacific

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KC McConnell scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead Whitworth to a 62-45 victory. (Photo: Col. of Idaho) KC McConnell scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead Whitworth to a 62-45 victory. (Photo: Col. of Idaho)

by Whitworth Athletics

FOREST GROVE, Ore. - KC McConnell scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead a late Whitworth surge as the visiting Pirates pulled away from Pacific for a 62-45 victory on Friday evening at the Stoller Center.

Pacific (5-7, 0-3 Northwest Conference) battled back from a double-digit deficit early in the third quarter to tie the game and trailed by just a point entering the final quarter before Whitworth (8-5, 3-1) outscored the Boxers 26-10 in the final period.

Leading 36-35 after three quarters, Whitworth opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 spurt before Pacific closed to within 43-40 with 5:38 remaining. It was at that point that the Pirates took control to gain a commanding lead down the stretch. A layup by Grace Douglas followed by a three-point play from McConnell and a layup from Chloe Quinnett quickly stretched the Whitworth lead back to double digits at 50-40.

The Boxers closed to 50-42 but could not further reduce the lead as McConnell proceeded to score the next 10 points for Whitworth while the Pirate defense locked down and held Pacific to just five points in the final five minutes. McConnell scored 13 of her points over the last five minutes of the contest.

Whitworth never trailed in the game, but Pacific outscored the Pirates 18-9 during the third quarter. The Boxers made four of their first five shots from the floor following halftime and tied the game at 33-33 with 3:15 to play in the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Lauren Lykins. The free throw followed by a layup from Sidney Riggs gave Whitworth a 36-33 before the Boxers answered to come within a point after three quarters.

The first and second quarters featured a series of back-and-forth runs. The Pirates scored the first eight points of the game before the Boxers responded with five unanswered points. Whitworth then answered with a 9-0 run to open a 17-5 advantage en route to a 27-19 halftime lead.

Whitworth shot just 28.1% (9-32) from the field in the first half but made 13-24 shots (54.2%) after halftime. The Pirates took advantage of 21 Pacific turnovers and scored 10 points off those turnovers.

McConnell nearly finished with a double-double after grabbing nine rebounds. Douglas scored 10 points and Faith Emerson> added 9 points for the Pirates. Callie Harwood contributed seven points and eight rebounds.

Sarah Curl scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Nikki Gilbert added 11 points and nine rebounds to lead the Boxers.

Whitworth returns to Oregon next weekend to face Willamette and No. 3 George Fox. The Pirates battle the Bearcats on Friday, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. before taking on the Bruins at 4 p.m. the following day.
 

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