WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Kaylie McCracken scored a career-high 24 points, Mady Burdett added 20 more and the Whitman College women's basketball team opened Northwest Conference play with an 84-69 win Friday night at the Sherwood Center.
In a game that was close at times, the Blues (4-2, 1-0 NWC) used a 13-2 third quarter spurt to make the final period almost elementary. Maegen Martin had a near double double with 12 points and nine rebounds with Taylor Chambers handing out a team-high eight assists.
Courtney Carolan dropped a team-high 21 points for the Boxers (2-3, 0-1 NWC) with Charli Elliott corralling nine rebounds.
The Blues took control of the contest early. Burdett's layup put her team up 7-2 before she drained a three pointer to give the Blues a 10-4 lead with 7:29 to play in the first quarter. Then after another Burdett three pointer and an and-one from Natalie Whitesel, Whitman held a 28-15 advantage.
The second quarter opened with a Liana Tanaka three to cut the lead to seven points, but McCracken came alive hitting on a layup then a corner three to put the Blues up 33-21. Despite McCracken continuing her hot shooting during the quarter, the Boxers did not let the game get away from them. In the half's final minute, Tanaka's steal and layup sandwiched by three pointers from Carolan and Elliott shaved the Blues lead to 42-38 at the break.
The game remained tight in the third until a late Whitman spurt broke the game open. Tanaka's layup cut the Whitman lead to four points almost midway through the period, but a 13-2 Blues run to close the quarter extended the lead to 15 points.
A Taylor Chambers three pointer in the fourth gave Whitman its largest lead of 20 points and the Blues led comfortably for the rest of the game.
The Blues are right back at it tomorrow against Willamette. Tipoff at the Sherwood Center is set for 4:00 p.m.