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It was nearing single digits outside Schoenecker Arena Friday afternoon, but things were much different on the inside as the 16th-ranked Whitman Blues ripped down a season-best 58 rebounds and scored 42 points from in close during its 69-59 Sweet 16 victory over seventh-ranked Trinity (Texas) University.

With its victory, Whitman (26-4) advances into Saturday night's sectional championship -- the Elite 8 -- of the NCAA 2017 Division III Women's Basketball Championship. The opponent will be sectional host and second-ranked University of St. Thomas which defeated Marymount 62-55, in Friday's late game at Schoenecker.

Rebounding, especially in the defensive end, and the ease in which Whitman continually slipped through the Tigers' press were keys to the Blues' victory.

The battle off the rim wasn't even close, as their 58 rebounds were 25 more than Trinity's 33, the third largest rebounding margin of the season for Whitman. But more importantly, the Tigers hardly ever got a second look when on offense.

Of its 33 rebounds only seven were in the offensive end, a result that left Trinity (28-2) with a total of three second-chance points for the game.

Makana Stone was busiest, but not by much, around the rim for Whitman with a game-high 11 rebounds. Far from alone in that stat column she was joined in wreaking rebound-havoc by Emily Rommel's 10, Casey Poe's 9 and Sierra McGarity's 8. In fact, of the 11 players that earned playing time, 10 of them came away with at least one board.

And then there was the fluidity with which Whitman broke the full- and half-court pressure the Tigers tried to use to clamp down on the Blues.

The outcome would often times end up with a layin for the Whitman offense. The Blues were racing through half-court plays that the Trinity defense wasn't able to get back into from its down court pressure. The nightmares the Tigers may see tonight could well be the many wide-open passes to players under the hoop for two, then four, then six of Whitman's 42 points within the paint.

42. Of 69 points on the night.

By the end of the night Rommel would finish with a double-double, 16 points to go along with her 10 rebounds. But the Blues were one point and one rebound away from having three register a double-double. Stone added nine points to her 11 boards, and Poe fell one rebound short after scoring 14. Chelsi Brewer, Whitman's team leader in scoring, finished the victory with 11 points.

The opening 10-minute quarter proved to be a poor indicator of how the next three would go, as the score was tied five times and there were three lead changes.

Whitman erased its one-point deficit at the beginning of the second quarter with a pair of free throws by Brewer.

The Blues would own a lead for the next six minutes, until a layup from Trinity's Monica Halguin knotted the score at 26-26, with 2:50 left until the break.

Maegen Martin, who finished with nine points and four rebounds, broke the deadlock, though, with a jumper and a layup to provide the Blues with a halftime lead, an advantage that wouldn't change again.

What broke open the one-point game, 30-29, in the third quarter was Whitman's 8-0 run to start the frame.

Stone eased in for a layup to kick if off, followed by a Poe jumper. Rommel added a layup then sank a pair of free throws to push the Blues' lead to nine.

It took the Tigers almost five minutes to score in the quarter -- followed by, what else?, another Whitman layup -- and by then the die had been cast.

Whitman ended up outscoring previously once-beaten Trinity 39-30 in the second half to ensure an Elite 8 date on Saturday.