Pirates Hold Off Linfield - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pirates Hold Off Linfield

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth women's basketball team held off a late run by Linfield College to defeat the Wildcats 69-64 on Saturday afternoon in Whitworth Fieldhouse. Whitworth, which improves to 12-5 overall, 5-3 in the Northwest Conference, gave head coach Helen Higgs her 275th win as head coach of the Pirates. Linfield falls to 1-12 on the season, 0-7 in league play.

"This was a game we had to just grind out between injuries and illness," Whitworth head coach Helen Higgs said. "We had to adapt and adjust our game plan."

Linfield, looking for its first NWC win, came out firing and jumped out to an early 10-5 lead before freshman KC McConnell came off the bench to score a quick four points and pulled the Pirates within three. Senior Emily Guthrie sank a three-pointer to tie the game up at the 12:39 mark, but Linfield answered with a three-pointer of its own to go back in front. The teams traded baskets, with the Wildcats keeping a lead for the next five minutes of action. After a McConnell three-pointer tied the game at 21, sophomore Katara Belton-Sharp grabbed one of her career-high eight rebounds on the defensive end and hit a jumper on the offensive end to put the Pirates in front for the first time since the opening minute. The Bucs held onto the lead for the remaining 6:49. Whitworth led 32-25 at halftime.

Though Linfield opened the second half with the first basket, but Whitworth went on a 9-0 run to push its lead to 14 points in the first 4:34. The Pirates kept a comfortable lead over the Wildcats for most of the second half, but Linfield made a 6-0 run to get within four points with 2:45 left in the game. Junior Jamie Lyons came up with a blocked shot on the defensive end and then hit a basket on the other end to put Whitworth up by six, but Linfield's Katelyn Henson hit a jumper to pull the Wildcats back within four with 1:33 remaining. Whitworth was able to ice the game at the line over the last minute and a half.

Whitworth finished the night shooting 75 percent (9-12) from the free throw line, and two Pirates, junior Kayla Johnson (5-5) and senior Lauren Picha (2-2) were perfect from the line. Linfield shot just 38.5 percent (5-13) from the charity stripe. The Bucs held a 55-33 edge on the boards and pulled down 23 offensive rebounds, which led to 22 second chance points.

"I was really proud of our focus and work ethic tonight. It was nice to get back in the groove on the boards tonight, which we needed since Linfield took care of the ball well tonight," said Higgs.

Three Pirates scored in double figures for the Pirates, led by Kayla Johnson's season-high 19 points. Emily Guthrie added 15 points, and KC McConnell chipped in 13 points for the Bucs. In addition to Belton-Sharp's eight, Lauren Picha pulled down a career-high eight rebounds, while junior Kendra Lahue also grabbed eight boards for Whitworth. Picha also dished out five assists for the Bucs.

Linfield also had three players in double figures, led by Katelyn Henson's 19 points. Kaely Maltman scored 18 points for the Wildcats, while Taylor Solomon added 13 points. Maltman and Henson led the team with eight rebounds each, and Maltman dished out a game-high six assits.

Next up, Whitworth will travel to Tacoma to play Puget Sound at 6:00 pm on January 25th and Pacific Lutheran at 4:00 pm on January 26th.

  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • Inside Eastern Washington Football Sneak Preview

    Inside Eastern Washington Football Sneak Preview

    Before the game SWX will start the festivities with a live pregame show at 11:00 a.m. PT with special ESPN guest Colin Cowherd, all leading up to a behind-the-scenes feature on EWU football at noon. Enjoy the trailer for the Inside Eastern Washington Football special in the video player above!>>
    Before the game SWX will start the festivities with a live pregame show at 11:00 a.m. PT with special ESPN guest Colin Cowherd, all leading up to a behind-the-scenes feature on EWU football at noon. Enjoy the trailer for the Inside Eastern Washington Football special in the video player above!>>
  • EWU Volleyball Preview

    EWU Volleyball Preview

    A wealth of talent at every position combined with a trio of determined senior leaders have the Eastern Washington volleyball program ready to make its 2014 campaign a memorable one.>>
    A wealth of talent at every position combined with a trio of determined senior leaders have the Eastern Washington volleyball program ready to make its 2014 campaign a memorable one.>>
  • Spokesman's Jim Allen On EWU Football

    Spokesman's Jim Allen On EWU Football

    Spokesman-Review Eastern Washington University beat writer Jim Allen joined SWX's John Collett in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football with the program's earliest and most prominent start quickly approaching.>>
    Spokesman-Review Eastern Washington University beat writer Jim Allen joined SWX's John Collett in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football with the program's earliest and most prominent start quickly approaching.
    >>
  • WhitworthWhitworthMore>>

  • Whitworth Head Coach Rod Sandberg In Studio

    Whitworth Head Coach Rod Sandberg In Studio

    Whitworth football head coach Rod Sandberg joined SWX's John Collett in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about the upcoming 2014 season at the Pine Bowl on Friday, Aug. 15. Sandberg is entering into his first season as the Pirates head coach after spending 11 years as the defensive coordinator at Wheaton College (Div. III) in Illinois and spent a total of 19 seasons with the Thunder as the linebackers coach before running the defense and also was the recruiting coordinato...>>
    Whitworth football head coach Rod Sandberg joined SWX's John Collett in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about the upcoming 2014 season at the Pine Bowl on Friday, Aug. 15. Sandberg is entering into his first season as the Pirates head coach after spending 11 years as the defensive coordinator at Wheaton College (Div. III) in Illinois and spent a total of 19 seasons with the Thunder as the linebackers coach before running the defense and also was the recruiting coordinato...>>
  • Local College Football Fall Practice Schedules

    Local College Football Fall Practice Schedules

    All four of the local college football teams will kick off their Fall practices this week with the 2014 season fast approaching. Compiled below is a list of practice schedules for Eastern Washington University, University of Idaho, Washington State University and Whitworth University.>>
    All four of the local college football teams will kick off their Fall practices this week with the 2014 season fast approaching. Compiled below is a list of practice schedules for Eastern Washington University, University of Idaho, Washington State University and Whitworth University.
    >>
  • Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.>>
    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.
    >>