No. 22 Whitman Women's Basketball Tops Linfield On Senior Day

More news about: Whitman

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Before subbing out to a standing ovation in the final minute of Whitman's 72-63 victory over Linfield in a Northwest Conference women's basketball game at the Sherwood Athletic Center here Saturday, Maegen Martinleft her fingerprints all over the outcome.

The Blues' lone senior, who was celebrated in an on-court ceremony prior to opening jump on Senior Night, had a key steal and two crucial baskets to help Whitman pull away over the final five minutes of the game.

Martin finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds, one block and one steal. It was her fifth double-double of the season and ninth consecutive game in double-digit scoring.

Mady Burdett added 20 points on her 21st birthday, drilling 8 of 13 from the field, and fellow junior Makana Stone pumped in 19 points and snagged five boards.

Whitman bounced back from a difficult loss to George Fox the night before and built momentum heading into the final weekend of the season. The Blues (18-5, 12-2 in NWC) retained sole possession of second place with two games to play. They can clinch second – and a home game in the semifinals of the conference tournament – by beating third-place University of Puget Sound in Tacoma next Friday.

Linfield (11-12, 7-7) got 18 points apiece from Kory Oleson and Molly Danielson.

Whitman went cold after Lily Gustafson's basket to open the fourth quarter gave it a 58-47 lead. A 9-1 Wildcats surge pared that lead down to three points, 59-56, with 5:12 left in the game.

That's when Martin grabbed her single, significant steal and funneled the ball to Taylor Chambers, who bolted up the floor. Chambers ripped a pass to Stone for an easy basket (one of her game-high six assists), and on the Blues' ensuing possession, Martin calmly drained a 3-pointer.
Her baby hook in the lane after Whitman came up with another stop made it 66-56. Baskets by Stone and Burdett put Whitman comfortably ahead, 70-58, with 1:15 remaining.

There were no signs of hangover following Friday's tough loss to 13th-ranked George Fox. Burdett scored 10 of her 13 first-quarter points during a personal 10-4 run to close the period and give Whitman a 26-18 lead. Martin scored two of the Blues' first four baskets and assisted another in helping the hosts open a quick 9-5 lead.

Whitman made 11 of 17 shots in the first quarter, with seven assists and an 8-3 advantage on the glass.

Both teams cooled off in the second quarter, scoring 11 points apiece. Whitman took its largest first-half lead, 35-25, with 2:38 to go on two Chambers free throws.

Stone had 10 points in the first half, which ended with the Blues ahead 37-29 – despite having made just 4 of 18 field goals in the period.
Martin was 5 of 7 from the floor. She entered Saturday's contest ranked 21st, nationally, among active career leaders in field goal percentage, and 13th, nationally, among active career senior leaders in field goal percentage.

Whitman's game at UPS is at 6 p.m. on Feb. 15. It closes the regular season at Pacific Lutheran University at 4 p.m. on Feb. 16.

The Blues will play a Northwest Conference tournament semifinal on Feb. 21. The opponent, time and venue have yet to be determined.