WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Third-ranked George Fox uncorked a 14-2 run midway the first half and rolled away to a 82-51 women's basketball victory over Whitman College Saturday afternoon in Newberg, Ore.
George Fox remains undefeated on the season, improving to 10-0 in the Northwest Conference and 19-0 overall.
The Missionaries slipped to 6-4 in conference and 10-9 on the season.
Whitman gave George Fox its toughest game of the last month in Walla Walla, losing by a single point after two scoring opportunities slipped away in the waning moments.
And the Missionaries stayed close to the Bruins through the first 11 minutes of the first half in this afternoon's rematch. They trailed by just four points at 21-17 after sophomore Megan White made two free throws at the 9:17 mark of the opening stanza
But the Bruins seized command over the next four minutes, outscoring Whitman 14-2 to build a 35-19 cushion. George Fox stretched its lead to 18 points at 41-23 with just under three minutes left in the half.
Six straight points by the Missionaries, four of them by first-year players Heather Lovelace and Hallie Buse, closed the gap to 41-29, but Dacia Heckendorf hit a 3-pointer inside the final minute to give the Bruins a 15-point halftime bulge.
The home team tallied the first four points of the second half and Whitman drew no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Whitman shot 57.1 percent from the floor in the first half, making eight of 14 field goal attempts, but the Missionaries also committed 16 turnovers in the first 20 minutes as the Bruins took charge.
Lovelace, a 6-foot forward, paced Whitman and matched her career high in scoring with 13 points. She made all six of her field goal attemps and was one of two at the free throw line.
White, a 6-foot center, toyed with a double-double, combining eight points with eight rebounds.
Despite an off night, senior point guard Jenele Peterson scored nine points and became just the tenth player in the history of Whitman women's basketball to push her career scoring numbers past 1,100 points.
With the game slipping out of reach in the second half, Whitman's shooting touch cooled. The Missionaries finished the night with at 40.5 percent (17-42 fg) while the Bruins shot at even 50 percent from the floor, making 29 of 58 attempts.
The Missionaries misfied on all six of their 3-point tries while George Fox connected on eight of 22 shots from long distance.
Whitman worked its way to a 35-30 rebounding edge, but its offense was saddled with 30 turnovers.
George Fox, which hammered Whitworth 75-48 on Friday, has won its last 46 home games against NWC teams.
Senior Keisha Gordon pinned 21 points and five steals on Whitman. Hannan Munger added 13 points for the Bruins, who also got 10 points each from Hayley Cusick and Heckendorf.
Whitman returns home next weekend to host NWC games against Pacific Lutheran at 6 p.m. Friday and Puget Sound at 5 p.m. Saturday.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org