UMHB women top Whitworth 72-56

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Spokane, Washington – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women's basketball team saw a halftime lead slip away early in the third quarter, but the Cru rebounded to pull away in the fourth period in a 72-56 victory over Whitworth University Friday night in Spokane. The game was part of the Quality Inn Whit Classic and UMHB improves to 2-0 on the year with the victory. The loss drops the Pirates to 0-1 on the season.

The Cru built a 34-37 halftime lead behind a strong defensive effort. UMHB held the Pirates to 28 percent shooting from the field and 0-2 from three-point range in the first two quarters. Whitworth opened the third quarter with a 12-0 run to take a 39-34 lead, but the Cru never blinked. UMHB would retake the lead and stretch it to as many as 13 points late in the period. That lead would grow to 17 in the fourth quarter as the Cru eased to the victory.

Jonelle Smith and Tyra Gatson topped UMHB with 10 points apiece. Jesslyn Poole added nine points and 13 players scored for the Cru in the win. Kendra Wynn pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and Kendall Rollins added seven points and seven boards. UMHB shot 41 percent from the field as a team and went 12-18 from the free-throw line.

Callie Harwood led Whitworth with a game-high 16 points and Faith Cebula added 12 points. The Pirates were held to 28 percent shooting from the field and the UMHB defense limited Whitworth to 1-14 from beyond the arc. The Cru forced 17 turnovers and recorded eight steals in the win.

The Cru women will close out the tournament with a 4:00 PM Central Time tip-off against Whitman College on Saturday. UMHB will then return home to host games against Schreiner University and Birmingham Southern next week.