SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth women’s basketball team put together a strong second half to run past Linfield 82-60 on Friday evening in Northwest Conference action in Whitworth Fieldhouse. The Pirates outscored the Wildcats 54-28 in the second half to overcome a halftime deficit and claim the win.
Whitworth improves to 17-5 on the season, with an 11-2 record in the Northwest Conference. Linfield falls to 7-14 overall, 3-9 in the NWC.
In a slow-starting game, Linfield scored the first basket at the 18:46 mark. Whitworth led briefly, 10-9, at the 15:52 mark after senior Kendra Lahue hit a three-pointer, but the Wildcats pushed out to a six point lead on a jumper from Katelyn Henson. After junior Jessica Kramer put the Pirates in front 26-25 with a jumper in the lane, the Wildcats’ Dani Krier hit a three-pointer to make it 28-26 Linfield. Senior Kayla Johnson knotted the score 28-28, but Linfield outscored the Pirates 4-0 over the last 3:50 to lead 32-28 at halftime.
The Pirates opened the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 35-32 lead over the Wildcats. Once Whitworth took the lead in the second half, the Pirates kept their foot on the pedal. Sophomore KC McConnell went on a 5-0 run by herself to put the Bucs up 43-36 and force a Linfield timeout. A break in the action could not stop Whitworth's momentum. A jumper from Johnson gave Whitworth its first double-digit lead, 57-46. The Pirates converted from the free throw line in the second half, shooting 90.5 percent (19-21).
Whitworth held a 44-29 rebounding advantage, with 13 offensive boards. The Pirates scored 18 points off of 20 Linfield turnovers.
KC McConnell led the Pirates with 16 points. Kayla Johnson’s 15 points give her 1, 170 for her career, moving her into ninth on the all-time scoring list. Sophomore Lexie Zappone added 13 points and sophomore Alexis McLeod came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points. Johnson led the Pirates with eight rebounds. Zappone and junior Kendra Knutsen each dished out three assists for the Pirates, and Johnson and McConnell had two steals apiece.
Taylor Solomon led the Wildcats with 14 points. Katelyn Henson posted a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Kaely Maltman, Linfield’s leading scorer, was held to just eight points, but led the Wildcats with three assists.
Next up, Whitworth hosts eighth-ranked George Fox at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 15th.