WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With Jennifer Keyes hitting two clutch 3-pointers and Kelly Peterson knocking down four straight free throws, Whitman College held off Puget Sound for a 76-68 Northwest Conference basketball victory Friday night in Tacoma, Wash.
Whitman, which led by as many eight points late the first half, stretched its advantage to 56-43 when Tiffani Traver drained a 3-pointer with 10:34 left to play.
A Keyes three at the 7:39 mark had the Missionaries on top 59-48, but Puget Sound clicked off 10 unanswered points to slice its deficit to a single point with 4:24 remaining.
Traver, who leads the NWC in assist-to-turnover ratio, helped stem the tide for Whitman, feeding Mary Madden for a jumper and then making a steal that led to free throws for Sarah Anderegg.
After Anderegg made one of two free throws for a four-point Whitman cushion, Puget Sound's Taylor Jones connected from the 3-point stripe to draw the Loggers to within 62-61 with three minutes remaining.
Assisted by Traver, Keyes countered with a three, but Puget Sound stayed close on a Kelsey McKinnis jumper.
The game took a final turn in Whitman's favor when Keyes drained another three with 2:06 on the clock. Following a Logger miss, Jenele Peterson assisted on Madden's layup to give the Missionaries a 70-63 lead with just over a minute left.
Puget Sound responded with a jumper, but Kelly Peterson made four straight free throws on Whitman's next two possessions to keep the Missionaries safely in front. She was five for seven from the line on the night and is shooting 87 percent from the stripe on the season.
Jenele Peterson closed out the scoring with two charity tosses with five seconds left.
The Missionaries, now 1-2 in the NWC and 5-7 overall, shot 48 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Loggers by a decisive 42-29 margin. The loss leaves Puget Sound with records of 2-1 and 6-6.
Meghan White, a 6-foot sophomore, snared 12 rebounds to spark Whitman's backboard domination.
The victory snapped Whitman's six-game losing string against Puget Sound. The Loggers had prevailed in those six games by an average margin of little more than three points.
Madden combined a team-high 16 points with six rebounds to lead a balanced Missionary attack. Kelly Peterson added 13 points while Jenele Peterson had 12 points and six assists.
Traver, who was three of four from the 3-point stripe, was good for nine points, six rebounds and four assists. Keyes also had nine points on a trio of 3-point strikes. Anderegg chipped in with eight points.
After the two teams traded baskets early in the game, Whitman used a 20-9 surge to lead 31-23 lead with 3:27 left in the opening half.
The Loggers closed the gap to 35-33 by halftime and inched in front by a point to start the second stanza. But the Missionaries scored 16 of the next 18 points to seize command, moving in front 51-38 with 13 minutes remaining.
In finishing the night with 12 points, Jenele Peterson became the 13th player in the history of Whitman women's basketball to surpass 1,000 career points.
The senior point guard heads to Saturday's game at Pacific Lutheran with 1,003 career points, tied with 2006 graduate Lizzy Washburn for 12th-place on Whitman's all-time scoring list.
Whitman's game at Pacific Lutheran starts at 4 p.m. Saturday.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com