by Andrew Goodwin
Inconsistent ball movement and poor rebounding doomed the women Pirates as they dropped their first Northwest Conference game to the Willamette University Bearcats, 72-48.
The loss moved Whitworth to 1-3 on the season and 0-1 in Northwest Conference play. Willamette moved to 6-1 and 1-1 in conference on the season.
Callie Harwood, ‘18, led the Pirates with 14 points, and Faith Cebula, ‘19, contributed four assists from the post. Madison Moffat, ‘19, was the Bucs’ second-leading scorer with nine points.
Turnovers and stagnant offense hurt Whitworth, finishing with a 0.69 assist-to-turnover ratio compared to Willamette’s 1.5 mark. The Pirates were also out-rebounded 41-26, and Willamette put up 14 second chance points on their 14 offensive rebounds.
The Bucs kept the game close until the early second quarter, but the Bearcats went on an 11-1 run to extend a two-point lead to 12. Whitworth turned the ball over four times during that timespan. Celine Gregoire keyed the run with six points and two rebounds for Willamette.
Whitworth’s final lead of the game was in the first quarter. They led 12-11 after a lay-up from Grace Douglas, ‘18.
The Pirates played the Bearcats even in the third quarter. Harwood scored 11 on 5-8 shooting to lead the team in the quarter. The team finished with three assists in the quarter as ball movement improved, and the women gave themselves a chance to win.
The chance did not last; however, as the Buc’s offense stagnated in the fourth quarter. Whitworth managed only two assists as the Bearcats keyed in defensively on Harwood.
Willamette shot 11 free throws in the second half, making seven. For the game, the Bearcats outshot the Pirates from the line. Willamette shot 14-18 on free throws, while Whitworth was 3-8.
The Pirates look to shore up some of their errors as they hit the road again on Tuesday to take on 25th-ranked Whitman. The game took place after publishing, and fans can find a box score and recap on WhitworthPirates.com.