WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College strengthened its grip on third place in the Northwest Conference women's basketball standings with an 82-70 victory over Pacific Friday night in Forest Grove, Ore.
In winning for the 10th time in 12 games, Whitman improved to 9-4 in the NWC and 13-9 overall.
Puget Sound lost at home tonight to George Fox but remains in fourth place with an 8-6 NWC record (12-11 overall).
Whitworth (6-7 NWC, 10-12) stayed in the hunt for the fourth and final playoff berth with a victory tonight at Linfield.
Whitman plays Saturday at Linfield while Pacific hosts Whitworth. Puget Sound, after playing a game earlier in the week, is done for the weekend.
Whitman never trailed in downing Pacific for the second time this season. The Missionaries led 29-17 with five minutes left in the first half and took a 35-29 cushion into the break.
The Boxers drew as close as four points early in the second half before the Missionaries stretched the lead back to 56-45 with 10:39 left of the second half. Pacific made a last charge as the game clock slipped below the eight-minute mark.
But with Whitman's lead down to 61-56, junior Mary Madden and senior Jenele Peterson scored back-to-back three-point plays to make it a 67-56 game with 6:31 left.
The Boxers drew no closer than seven points the rest of the way and Whitman widened its lead to as many as 14 points late in the game.
Whitman shot 51.5 percent from the floor, won the rebounding battle 33-25 and forced the home team into 16 turnovers. The Missionaries outscored the Boxers 25-9 in points off turnovers.
Peterson, one of four Missionaries scoring in double figures, combined 14 points with six assists and two steals. Oddly enough, Whitman's senior point guard had 14 points and six assists when Whitman beat Pacific 65-48 last month in Walla Walla.
Madden added 13 points to Friday's victory while junior Kelly Peterson and sophomore Sarah Anderegg tallied 12 points apiece.
Six-foot sophomore Meghan White ruled the backboards, grabbing 11 rebounds (six at the offensive end) while scoring eight points.
Whitman also got seven points from sophomore Tiffani Traver and six points each from seniors Jenn Keyes and Anna Forge. Keyes hit twice from the 3-point arc, and Forge blocked three shots and handed out three assists.
White also blocked two shots for the Missionaries.
Paige Jensen scored 24 points and snared six rebounds for Pacific, which saw its record fall to 4-9 in the NWC and 11-10 overall.
Whitman makes its final road trip of the regular season next weekend, playing games in western Oregon at Pacific on Friday and Linfield on Saturday.
- 30 -
CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com