Walla Walla, Wash. – Junior guard Tiffani Traver (Jr, Oregon City, OR) scored a career-high 21 points and post Meghan White (Jr, Huntington Beach, CA) hauled down a career-best 19 rebounds and blocked two shots, as the Missionaries downed the Pirates 81 – 62 at the Sherwood Athletic Center tonight.
The win moves the Whits to within a half-game of first place (10 – 3) in the Northwest Conference behind idle George Fox and Lewis & Clark (both 10 – 2) – George Fox visits George Ball Court this Friday night for a 6 pm tip. The Pirates fall out of a tie with the Missionaries with a record of 9 – 4 and, now, sit in fourth. For complete NWC standings click Standings.
The Pirates got out to an early 6 – 0 lead when Kayla Johnson sank a pair of free-throws. Whitworth held the Missionaries without a point until Hailey Ann Maeda (So, Kailua, HI) hit a free-throw with more than six minutes played to make it 6 – 1.
Whitworth stretched its lead to 12 – 4 on a corner three by Katara Belton-Sharp before the Whits went on an 8 to 0 run to tie it at twelve when Sarah Anderegg (Jr, Redmond, WA) converted a layup with under 10 minutes left in the half. The Missionaries took the lead for the first time on another Anderegg drive, 17 - 16, and would never be headed.
Whitman stretched its lead to nine when White hit a pair from the line with 2:37 left in the half, and went to the locker rooms with a 32 – 26 advantage. Anderegg fueled the first half offense, scoring 12 of her 19 in the first stanza.
Early in the second half, the Missionaries built their lead to double-digits when point-guard Heather Johns (So, W. Richland, WA) drove in for a layup at the 15:41 mark, and then Traver sank two treys and the Whits never looked back. Traver ended the night 5 of 9 from three-point land, Johns added 11 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, to go along with Anderegg's 19.
White, the team's leading rebounder, had the night of her life, as she had nine boards, already, at the break. She finished with nine on the offensive glass and ten on the defensive end as Whitman outrebounded the lady Bucs 55 to 28.
"Meghan believes that every rebound is hers" said Whitman Head Coach Michelle Ferenz. "She has a great sense of where the ball will come off the rim. She's moving as the shot is leaving someone's hand."
Johnson had a game-high 22 for Whitworth on 9 – 19 shooting. Belton-Sharp came off the bench to score 13.
Whitman is now 17 – 4 on the season. "We have three games left and if we win all three, we get to host a playoff game, which we haven't done in a long time", said Ferenz. "We've got another good team coming to town and we've still got to go on the road. So, we still have a lot of work to do. But this was a nice win because we finally found our offensive rhythm, again."
The Pirates drop to 16 – 6 and will host George Fox on Saturday.
Whitman Sports Information Director