by Peter Houston-Hencken
The women’s basketball team ended last weekend’s home games with a win against the Pacific Lutheran Lutes, 66-39 and a loss to the Puget Sound Loggers, 87-69. The two games set Whitworth in fourth place for the Northwest Conference with a record of 5-3.The Pirates began Friday night with a solid start. Senior KC McConnell and sophomore Callie Harwood scored multiple shots in the first period, allowing them to take an early lead. The Pirates ended the first period with a score of 11-7.
The Lutes put the pressure on Whitworth and made a brief comeback in the second period. After a 3-pointer and a couple layups less than two minutes into the period, the score was tied at 14-14. However, the Pirates managed to make up lost ground and gain an even larger lead. At halftime, the Pirates held an 11-point lead with a score of 29-18.
The Lutes had trouble keeping ahold of the ball and had the ball stolen 11 times by the end of the match. Whitworth was able to handle the ball effectively and shot 43.9 percent from the floor.
“We pressed and tried to force turnovers and I think that they’re pretty young in their backcourt,” Head Coach Helen Higgs said. “Some of that’s just their inexperience.”
Whitworth entered the third period prepared to expand their lead. Senior Faith Emerson led the Pirates in the third period by scoring 12 points. The Pirates increased their lead and ended the period at 53-32.
Emerson was the Pirates’ top scorer for the night, successfully making 8 shots from the field as well as a 3-pointer.
“Our guards that are up on the ball and our backcourt do a really great job of applying pressure,” Emerson said. “When we really work as a team, other teams are in trouble.”
The Pirates did not relent and continued to hold their large lead into the final period. The Pirates were able to score 13 points in the fourth quarter while the Lutes were only able to score seven. The contest ended with a final score of 66-39.
The match against the Puget Sound Loggers did not turn out as smooth as the match prior. The Pirates were able to take an early lead and end the first period with a score of 17-16. However, the Loggers were able to catch up in the second period and take the lead, 36-32, by halftime.
The Pirates could not keep up with the Loggers’ incredibly accurate shooting throughout the night. Loggers made 65 percent of their shots from the field in the second period and successfully made 73 percent of their free throws for the entire game.
“I think it came down to just communication,” sophomore Chloe Quinnett said. “A lot of those screens, we knew they were coming and we just didn’t talk them out.”
The Pirates attempted to take back the lead, but were unsuccessful. The Loggers continued to expand their lead by scoring 30 points in the last two periods. Whitworth was only able to score 26. The match ended with a score of 66-58.
“[The Loggers] are definitely a high-quality team that has played really well. They’ve gotten better every game this year,” Higgs said.
The Pirates will face Linfield College and Lewis & Clark College in Oregon this coming weekend. The games will be held on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m., respectively.