SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth women's used a 24-6 run in the last six minutes and 53 seconds of play to defeat No. 18 George Fox 66-59 on Saturday night in Whitworth Fieldhouse. With the win, Whitworth (17-6, 10-4 NWC) remained a perfect 10-0 at home.
"What a great win for our team," Whitworth head coach Helen Higgs said. "I am really excited for our seniors and our entire team. This win gave us an undefeated home season, which was one of our team goals, and it ensured that no one swept us in the league this year, which was another team goal."
George Fox (17-6, 10-4 NWC) started the game with four unanswered points before senior Emily Travis got a basket in the paint to put Whitworth on the scoreboard. Senior Lauren Picha made a three-pointer to pull the Bucs within four points at the 13:31 mark, but the Bruins went on a 11-0 run to gain a 15 point lead, 27-12, with 4:57 remaining in the half. Whitworth refused to quit and answered with a 15-0 run to close out the half. Junior Kayla Johnson sank a pair of free throws to tie the game with two seconds remaining before the break. At halftime, the score was all tied up at 27—the first time Whitworth has gone into the break tied this season.
The teams traded leads to open the second half until the Bruins went on a 9-0 run to lead the Pirates 47-38. Sophomore Kendra Knutsen got back to back steals on inbounds plays, turning the second steal into a layup to get the Bucs within four points. After George Fox regained an eight point lead, Whitworth hit four three-pointers in a row to take a 57-54 lead. Junior Kendra Lahue extended the lead by completing an old-fashion three-point play, putting Whitworth up 62-56. The Pirates outscored the Bruins 24-6 in the final 6:53 to seal the victory.
Whitworth shot 77.8 percent (7-9) from beyond the arc in the second half, and 54.5 percent (12-22) for the game. Despite George Fox outrebounding the Pirates 43-35, the Bruins only scored eight second chance points. Whitworth scored 22 points off of 20 Bruin turnovers, and recorded 10 steals on the night.
"Obviously our three-point shooting in the second half was a key to the win, but our defensive effort is what enabled us to make runs in both halves," said Higgs.
Emily Travis was one of three Pirates who finished the night in double figures, leading the Bucs with 17 points, including four three-pointers. Lauren Picha and Kayla Johnson each added 13 points for Whitworth. Johnson led the team in rebounding, pulling down seven boards, while Picha grabbed five rebounds for Whitworth. Travis finished the night with a team-high six assists and three steals.
Megan Arnoldy recorded a double-double for George Fox, finishing the night with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Hannah Munger and Jami Roos chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively. Munger and Hayley Cusick each had six rebounds for the Bruins, and Munger had a game-high three blocked shots.
Next up, Whitworth will travel to Oregon to face Linfield on Friday, February 15th at 6:00 pm and Willamette on Saturday, February 16th at 4:00 pm.