Whitworth Women Fall To No. 5 St. Thomas - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Whitworth Women Fall To No. 5 St. Thomas

KC McConnell scored 20 points but couldn't lead the Pirates over St. Thomas (Photo Courtesy: Whitworth SID) KC McConnell scored 20 points but couldn't lead the Pirates over St. Thomas (Photo Courtesy: Whitworth SID)

by Whitworth University Sports Information

The Whitworth University women’s basketball team could not hold off fifth-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) down the stretch as the Tommies handed the Pirates a 76-61 loss in the final game of the Whit Classic in Whitworth Fieldhouse on Saturday.

"I was proud of our effort tonight," Whitworth head coach Helen Higgs said. "I thought we competed well with one of the top teams in the country, but a four minute span was the difference in a tight game."

After trailing 4-0 in the early going, Whitworth (1-1) knotted the score 8-8 on a free throw from junior Jessica Kramer. St. Thomas (1-1) answered with a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead. The Tommies controlled the scoreboard for most of the first half until baskets from Kramer and senior Kayla Johnson pulled the Pirates within two points, 27-25, with 4:15 left in the half. Kramer gave the Pirates their first lead of the game with a three-pointer at the 3:25 mark. The teams traded leads over the next possessions before sophomore KC McConnell drained a three with 1:46 left before the break to put Whitworth in front 33-31. The Pirates kept the Tommies off the board in the waning seconds and led 33-31 at halftime.

The teams traded baskets and leads in the opening minutes of the second half until St. Thomas hit back-to-back jumpers to take a 47-43 lead. McConnell sank another three to pull the Pirates within one, 47-46 with 11:55 left in the game. Senior Kendra Lahue came up with a steal on the defensive end that led to a layup for fellow senior teammate Jamie Lyons, putting Whitworth ahead 48-47 with 10:45 remaining. After St. Thomas regained the lead, the Pirates threatened with just under six minutes left in the game when sophomore Lexie Zappone got fouled on a made layup and sank the free throw to make it a four point game. Lyons hit on three-pointer on Whitworth’s next possession to make it a two point game, but the Tommies used a 12-0 run over the next four minutes to put the game out of Whitworth’s reach.

KC McConnell led the Pirates with 20 points, including a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Jessica Kramer added 13 points while Kayla Johnson chipped in 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Jamie Lyons finished with 10 points for the Pirates. Junior Kendra Knutsen dished out four assists and had two steals for the Pirates.

Maggie Weiers scored 25 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked six to lead the Tommies. St. Thomas also got 15 points from Taylor Young, who scored her 1,000thcareer point on a pair of free throws in the first half. Katie Stone added 12 points and Kelly Brandenburg had 10 points for St. Thomas. Anna Smith pulled down 12 rebounds.

Overall, Whitman went 2-0 in the Whit Classic, earning victories over St. Thomas and Pomona-Pitzer. Whitworth and St. Thomas both ended the tournament with 1-1 records and Pomona-Pitzer ended the weekend with an 0-2 record.

The All-Tournament team included Pomona-Pitzer’s Jenn Okonkwo, St. Thomas’ Maggie Weiers, Whitworth’s KC McConnell and Whitman’s Sarah Anderegg and Heather Johns, who was named the tournament MVP.

Next up, Whitworth travels to UC-Santa Cruz to play in the Hampton Inn Classic. The Pirates face host school UC-Santa Cruz at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 23rdand Redlands at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 24th.

  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • EWU Football Adds Texas Tech Clash In 2017

    EWU Football Adds Texas Tech Clash In 2017

    Eastern Washington University head football coach Beau Baldwin will forever remember his first trip to Lubbock, Texas, and now his Eagles will make a second trip to play at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, 2017 in an announcement made jointly by the two schools...>>
    Eastern Washington University head football coach Beau Baldwin will forever remember his first trip to Lubbock, Texas, and now his Eagles will make a second trip to play at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, 2017 in an announcement made jointly by the two schools...
    >>
  • Pippins Hang on for 8-7 Win Over Sweets

    Pippins Hang on for 8-7 Win Over Sweets

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:48:01 GMT
    The last time the Yakima Valley Pippins traveled to Walla Walla, the Sweets rallied for nine runs in the final three innings to shock the Pippins in an 11-10 defeat. Tuesday night, lightning almost struck twice, but the Pippins buckled down to secure an 8-7 win over the Sweets in the series opener.>>
    The last time the Yakima Valley Pippins traveled to Walla Walla, the Sweets rallied for nine runs in the final three innings to shock the Pippins in an 11-10 defeat. Tuesday night, lightning almost struck twice, but the Pippins buckled down to secure an 8-7 win over the Sweets in the series opener.>>
  • EWU Football Readies For Earliest Start In Program History

    EWU Football Readies For Earliest Start In Program History

    With the earliest game in school history comes the earliest practice start, as the Eastern Washington University football team begins practices for the 2014 season this Thursday, July 31, on the Sports and Recreation Center practice fields in Cheney, Wash.>>
    With the earliest game in school history comes the earliest practice start, as the Eastern Washington University football team begins practices for the 2014 season this Thursday, July 31, on the Sports and Recreation Center practice fields in Cheney, Wash.>>
  • WhitworthWhitworthMore>>

  • 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.
    >>
  • Whitworth Unveils New Basketball Court at Fieldhouse

    Whitworth Unveils New Basketball Court at Fieldhouse

    The Whitworth basketball teams will have a nice new court to play on at their Fieldhouse this season and SWX's own Sam Adams was fortunate enough to christen the hardwood by playing a game of horse with the Pirates' mens team head coach, Matt Logie.>>
    The Whitworth basketball teams will have a nice new court to play on at their Fieldhouse this season and SWX's own Sam Adams was fortunate enough to christen the hardwood by playing a game of horse with the Pirates' mens team head coach, Matt Logie.
    >>
  • Whitworth Names Demant as New AD

    Whitworth Names Demant as New AD

    Tim Demant, a professional with more than 15 years of experience leading small-college athletics departments, has been selected as the new director of athletics at Whitworth University>>
    Tim Demant, a professional with more than 15 years of experience leading small-college athletics departments, has been selected as the new director of athletics at Whitworth University>>