Women split against PLU, UPS

by Andrew Goodwin|Sports Editor

Needing a sweep to move closer to the Northwest Conference tournament, Whitworth women’s basketball split their Tacoma road trip this weekend.

The Pirates hung on to defeat Pacific Lutheran 72-60 before dropping their second matchup to sixth-ranked Puget Sound 78-58. The loss to UPS means the Pirates need a pair of wins and a Whitman victory over Lewis and Clark to advance to the Northwest Conference Tournament.

“We want to make the tournament, but we need some luck and to play well next weekend,” Chloe Quinnett, ‘18, said. “I believe we can do it.  

In their victory over PLU, Whitworth built up a 16 point lead and held on to secure a 72-60 victory. Jessica Thoens, ‘17, keyed the Pirate victory with 21 points and five assists. Thoens also iced the game with 13 second half points and several clutch free throws.

“We can always count on Jess for assists, so her scoring definitely made us more of a threat offensively,” Callie Harwood, ‘18, said.

The Bucs built their lead with hot shooting carrying them to a 21-6 first quarter. Sophomore guard Madison Moffat, ‘19, scored a third of the team’s points in the quarter with seven. She would finish with a double-double, totalling up 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Grace Douglas, ‘18, took the scoring reins from Moffat in the second quarter. She put up eight points in the period to finish the half with 13. Douglas made every three she tried in the first half as the Bucs entered the break with a 39-23 lead.

Whitworth’s second game of the weekend started well as the Bucs stayed with UPS, the sixth best team in the country. With 2:44 remaining in the first half, Moffat’s free throw gave Whitworth the lead. It would be their last lead of the game. Puget Sound finished the half on an 8-0 run, giving the Loggers an advantage they would not relinquish.

Puget Sound’s biggest advantage came on the glass. The Loggers out-rebounded the Bucs 57-43.

“Rebounding-wise [Jamie Lange] got a lot of rebounds over us,” Quinnett said. “A lot of our mistakes stemmed from us not grabbing the ball, owning it, and wanting it.”

Douglas, Harwood, and Erika Kuehn, ‘18, were in double figures against UPS, scoring 14, 11, and 10 points respectively. Moffat picked up five offensive rebounds on her way to another double digit rebounding effort with 12. Quinnett and Courtney Gray, ’19, led the Whitworth post defense with two blocks apiece.

After two weekends away, the Bucs are back in the Fieldhouse next weekend for what could be their final pair of games. Whitworth takes on George Fox at 6 p.m. on Friday and Lewis and Clark at 4 p.m. on Saturday.