Strong Second Half Sends Puget Sound over Whitworth - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Strong Second Half Sends Puget Sound over Whitworth


by Whitworth Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. - Emily Sheldon scored a team-high 24 points to lead four Loggers in double figures as visiting Puget Sound pulled away from Whitworth after halftime for an 87-69 win on Saturday night at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

The Pirates (10-7, 5-3 Northwest Conference) and the Loggers (11-6, 6-2) entered the day in a three-way tie for second place in the NWC standings along with Whitman. Following Saturday's games, Puget Sound and Whitman sit in a tie for second place with Whitworth third at the halfway point of the conference schedule.

KC McConnell scored a game-high 29 points and Faith Emerson added 17 points to lead Whitworth, but the offensive execution from Puget Sound in the second half proved too much to overcome.

The Loggers shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the game, including 65.4 percent in the second half, and posted the highest point total scored against the Pirates this season. Puget Sound built a four-point halftime advantage into a nine-point lead after three quarters and led by as many as 22 points during the fourth quarter.

The Loggers never surrendered their lead after the half, though the Pirates came within two points of tying the game on three occasions in the third quarter. A jumper by Emerson brought Whitworth within 40-38 with 7:17 left in the third quarter but Puget Sound responded and slowly increased its lead. A 3-pointer from Sheldon gave the Loggers their first double digit lead at 53-43 with 2:41 to play in the quarter.

Sheldon, who entered the game just ahead of McConnell as the leading scorer in the NWC at 20.3 points per game, was held to six points in the first half before scoring 11 of her 18 second-half points in the third quarter.

The Pirates were never able to cut the lead to fewer than six points in the final quarter, though the deficit was just seven points at 69-62 with 4:49 to play. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Samone Jackson and Sheldon built the lead to 13 points and the Puget Sound defense held Whitworth to just three points the rest of the way in pulling away for the victory.

A back-and-forth first half featured five lead changes. Whitworth led 17-16 after one quarter before Puget Sound began the second quarter with a 6-0 run. The Pirates battled back to take a 26-24 lead, but the Loggers answered with a 5-0 spurt and kept the lead until halftime.

Elizabeth Prewitt led the Loggers in the first half with 17 of the team's 36 first-half points. A freshman, Prewitt was averaging 4.2 points per game entering the contest before exploding for 17 before halftime by connecting on 7 of 8 shots, including 3-3 from long range. She finished with a career-high 19 points.

Jackson finished with 17 points while Alex Noren added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Allie Wyszynski nearly gave the Loggers a fifth player in double figures, scoring nine points. Sheldon also added six assists for the balanced Logger offense.

Alexis Mcleod had eight points for Whitworth before leaving the game with an injury in the third quarter.

The Pirates shot 36.8 percent from the field, and just 4-20 from long range. The Loggers connected on 7 of 14 3-pointers.

Whitworth returns to action next weekend with a weekend trip to Oregon. The Pirates will face Linfield at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29. Whitworth will then travel to Lewis & Clark to take on the Pioneers at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30.

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