WALLA WALLA, Wash. - The Battle of the Whits tonight proved to be more than just an in-state rivalry between two perennial Northwest Conference women's basketball powers. It was a milestone achievement for Blues head coach Michelle Ferenz who notched career win No. 300 in an 87-78 win over Whitworth, Tuesday night in NWC action at the Sherwood Center.
Taylor Chambers led a well-balance effort for the Blues (16-4, 10-1 NWC) and added a well-balanced effort of her own. She scored a team-best 18 points on 8-13 shooting while handing out a team-high five assists to go along with two rebounds and two steals. Maegen Martin scored 16 points and led the Blues with seven rebounds.
Camy Aguinaldo was the high scorer for the Pirates (10-10, 5-6 NWC), recording a game-high 19 points on 8-17 shooting with Madison Moffat flirting with a double double at eight points and nine rebounds.
It was a hot start to open the Blues who raced out to an early 10-3 lead. Chambers got to the hoop for her team's first couple of buckets, but Whitworth got it going quickly. Jordan Smith and Moffat connected on three pointers to help even the game at 14-14 then, later, back-to-back three balls from Talia Brandner and Lexi Tinney gave the Pirates a 25-20 lead, forcing a Blues timeout.
Whitman closed the quarter with back-to-back buckets then scored the first seven points of the second period capped by Many Burdett's three pointer to take a 31-25 lead. Whitman would start to heat up as the quarter progressed. Chambers drilled a crossover step-back three pointer then Martin connected on an elbow jumper to put their team up seven, equaling its largest of the game to that point.
Kaelan Shamseldin got things going for the Blues in the second half, draining an elbow three off a dish from Chambers to put the Blues up nine points. Shamseldin imposed her will on offense and defense, adding 15 points while pulling down four rebounds and recording four steals.
Chambers kept doing her thing, finding Martin with assists on back-to-back possessions, then weaving her way into traffic for a bucket and a 10-point Whitman lead. With control established, the Blues went on a 14-3 run midway through the period to all but seal the win.
The Blues return to action this Friday, Feb. 1 against Lewis & Clark. Tip at the Sherwood Center its set for 6:00 p.m.