SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth University women’s basketball outscored Pacific (Ore.) 20-11 in the final eight minutes to earn a 75-66 win over the Boxers in Northwest Conference action in Whitworth Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Whitworth improves to 14-5 on the season, with an 8-2 mark in NWC action. Pacific falls to 5-13, with a 1-9 NWC mark.
The teams played a back-and-forth game in the first half. Whitworth responded to two early Pacific baskets with an 8-0 run to take a four point lead. The Boxers regained the lead and extended it to seven, 20-13, with 9:52 left in the first half. Junior Katara Belton-Sharp drained a three-pointer and sophomore KC McConnell followed with a jumper in the paint to pull Whitworth within two, 20-18. Belton-Sharp put Whitworth on top 24-23 with her second three of the half, but neither team could distance themselves. At halftime, Whitworth and Pacific were knotted at 34-34.
The opening three and a half minutes were another see-saw as each team took a lead and they tied twice. Whitworth used baskets from seniors Kayla Johnson and Kendra Lahue and free throws from Belton-Sharp to extend to a six point advantage, 44-38. The Boxers tied the score twice halfway through the second half, but Whitworth used a 10-0 run to get its first double digit lead of the night, 65-55, with 4:21 left to play. The Pirates outscored the Boxers down the stretch to earn their third straight conference game.
The teams each made 28 field goals, and each had 14 team assists. The Pirates held an advantage at the free throw line, making 12-20 (60 percent). Pacific was 5-7 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe. Whitworth also scored 17 points off of 17 Boxer turnovers.
KC McConnell posted a double-double to lead the Pirates, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Kayla Johnson also scored 19 points for the Pirates and pulled down seven boards. Katara Belton-Sharp came off the bench to score a season-high 15 points on 5-8 shooting. Junior Jessica Kramer posted her second straight 10 point game.
Sarah Curl led the Boxers with 14 points. Olivia Mayorga-Overtone added 13 points. Olivia Cook chipped in 10 points, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and dished out three assists.
Whitworth will make the Tacoma trip next weekend to take on Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran. The Pirates face the Loggers at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 7 and the Lutes at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 8.