Whitman Women's Basketball Secures No. 2 Seed In NWC Tournament With Win at PLU

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TACOMA, Wash. - Makana Stone and Maegen Martin teamed up for a pair of double doubles to lead the Whitman College women's basketball team to a hard-fought 73-62 win at Pacific Lutheran on Saturday, thereby securing the No. 2 seed and home court in the semifinal of next week's Northwest Conference Tournament.
Both Whitman and Puget Sound entered the day with identical 12-3 league records, but with the head-to-head tiebreaker in favor of the Loggers, the Blues needed a win and a UPS loss to clinch the No. 2 seed. Both happened as the Blues topped PLU and UPS fell to Whitworth. The first round matchup between Whitman and Puget Sound had already been set with only the site in question, which we now know is the Sherwood Center this Thursday, Feb. 21.
In a game Whitman (19-6, 13-3 NWC) never trailed, Stone dropped a game-high 17 points while grabbing 11 rebounds and Martin scored 14 and corralled a game-high 12 boards. Mady Burdett added 16 points on 50% shooting from beyond the arc with Taylor Chambers handing out seven assists. 
Emma Janousek led the Lutes (14-10, 7-9 NWC) scoring a team-high 15 points with Madison Salisbury chipping in 11.
An entertaining first quarter ended with the Blues holding a 19-16 lead. Back-to-back Stone jumpers put Whitman up then later, Burdett would hit a jumper of her own to push the lead to 15-9. Nearing the period's end Burdett and PLU's Katie Taylor hit three pointers on consecutive possessions and the Blues headed to the bench up three points.
Whitman extended its lead to nine points by halftime after outscoring the the Lutes by six in the second quarter. The Blues quickly went up eight points after a Kaelan Shamseldin three pointer and a Katie Stahl layup from Chambers lifted the lead to 24-16 1:40 into the period. Later, jumpers from Martin and Lily Gustafson put the Blues up by double digits, but PLU would rally. Back-to-back layups from Kylie Rademacher spearheaded an 8-0 Lute run to shave the lead to four. Whitman would stem the tide and carry a 37-28 advantage into the break. 
The Blues continued to lead by near double digits early in the third quarter but the Lutes wouldn't go away and slowly chipped away at the lead. Whitman would go without a made field goal in excess of six minutes during which time PLU whittled the lead down to a single point. Whitman cranked it up and closed the quarter on a 6-0 burst to regain control.
The final period saw the Blues take PLU's best punches but never relinquish the lead they held all game. Janousek's layup shaved the lead to 53-52 with 6:44 to play, but a layup and three pointer from Burdett pushed it back up to six points. With two minutes to play, Shamseldin nailed a three pointer and Stone scored in the paint to lift the lead back up to double digits.
The winner of Thursday's Whitman-UPS matchup will play either top-seeded George Fox or fourth-seeded Linfield on Saturday, Feb. 23.