Date: March 1, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Missionaries rode a hot shooting first half, including 4 three-point bombs from guard Tiffani Traver (Jr., Oregon City, OR), and a stifling defense, holding Cal Lutheran to only 20 % shooting for the game, in claiming the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history, downing the Regals 61 - 37 tonight in Portland to advance to the second round.
Whitman (21 - 5) was making its first appearance in the NCAA's since becoming a Division III program back in 1996. It was the second consecutive "Big Dance" appearance for Cal Lutheran who ends the season with a 23 - 5 mark.
After the historic victory for the Missionaries, head coach Michelle Ferenz said, "In my 12 years as coach at Whitman we've had several teams that were so close to getting here, so tonight we really wanted to make the most of our opportunity. We're having fun. That's the most important part of all of this."
The Missionaries, as is their custom, decidedly won the rebounding battle (45 - 34) -- the Whits entered the game 2nd in the nation in rebounding margin at Just under 13 per game. Junior post Meghan White (Huntington Beach, CA) grabbed a game-high 12 boards (10 on the defensive end, blocking 3 shots and fellow junior post Sarah Anderegg (Redmond, WA) grabbed 9 and had 2 rejections.
Traver led all scorers with 17 -- 15 from 3-point land as she was 5 of 7 from beyond the arc -- while point-guard Heather Johns tossed in 13 and Anderegg had 12 as the Whits never trailed the entire game. Senior Mary Madden (Huntington Beach, CA) added 8 points and 7 rebounds.
The Regals got 12 points from Jazmyne Porter and 8 from both Rachel Heagy and Starla Wright. For the most part, though, scoring was in short supply for Cal Lutheran, converting only 11 of 54 shot attempts.
After the fast early start for Whitman produced a 33 - 18 halftime lead, the Missionaries maintained a comfortable cushion throughout the 2nd half. Early in the second stanza, the Regals cut the lead to 12 when Porter drilled a trey from the wing but the Whits answered with a Anderegg layup and Cal Lutheran would never draw closer.
"I think a key was that we never really lost our composure", said Ferenz." Every time they tried to chip away, the girls really responded well by attacking back, being aggressive offensively and on the defensive end forcing them (the Regals) to take tough shots and then cleaning the boards up."
The Missionaries grabbed a 21-point lead when Madden banked in a rolling hook to make it 46 - 25 with 13:06 remaining. A Regal hoop reduced the margin to 19 but moments later senior guard Emilie Gilbert (Bellevue, WA) drained a straight-away three to put Whitman up by 22 with 12:03 on the clock and the margin never dropped below 20 the remainder of the half.
The Missionaries now face the winner of the Lewis & Clark vs. Trinity (TX) came which was the second match-up of tonight's doubleheader, for the right to play in the Sweet 16 tomorrow night, here, at Lewis & Clark College, 7 pm tip.
To view live video streaming of the game click http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/lclark.portal#
Whitman Sports Information Director