WHITTER, Calif. – Whitworth hung with 24th-ranked Wheaton College early, but the Thunder pulled away for a 75-53 women's basketball win on Friday evening at the Poet Classic hosted by Whittier College.
The Pirates (4-7) pulled within 14-12 on Erika Kuehn's basket with 2:30 left in the first quarter. But Wheaton (8-2) closed the quarter on a 10-3 run to open up a 24-15 lead. The Thunder stretched the margin to 37-17 midway through the second period and appeared ready to bust the game open. But Whitworth got back within 43-30 at the break when Lexi Tinney scored a basket at the buzzer.
Wheaton was able to reopen a 20-point lead in the third quarter and the Pirates never got closer than within 16 points the rest of the way.
Whitworth struggled offensively throughout the game, shooting 29.0% (18-62) from the floor and only 16.7% (3-18) from three-point range. Tinney scored a career-high 13 points off of the bench, while Kuehn and Grace Douglas scored a dozen points each.
The Pirates were able to hold consensus All-American Katie McDaniel well below her season scoring average (24.4 ppg). She finished with 13 points. Devin Kyler led the Thunder with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Wheaton shot 45.3% (29-64) from the floor and finished the game with a 48-31 edge in rebounding.
Whitworth will return home to host Pacific University (Ore.) in a Northwest Conference game next Friday.